Defenders of Ken Livingstone claim that his offensive comment about the Conservative Party being "riddled" with gays was a chance remark. They claim that there is nothing to suggest homophobia in Livingstone's record. Certainly Livingstone has tried to divide society up into interest groups and part of that electoral strategy has been to win gay votes.
But as this film demonstrates and Peter Tatchell has detailed there is worrying form from Livingstone in defending bigotry on this issue – something far more serious than his recent crass remark for the New Statesman.
Livingstone hosted Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi as an "honoured guest" at City Hall and claimed that Qaradawi is a "moderate." Yet Qaradawi , in his book, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, denounces homosexuality as “perverted” and “abominable.” He says it is an “aberration” and an “unnatural, foul and illicit practice." He believes it should be punishable by death. However in a Guardian interview he says punishment for homosexuality should be "a matter for the state."