By politics.co.uk staff
The Conservatives have moved on from their homophobic past, David Cameron has insisted.
The Tory leader, who has already apologised for Section 28 and his party's other homophobic policies, told Attitude magazine he hoped gay people would no longer automatically reject the Conservatives.
"I know there are gay people who have conservative values - like wanting us to be supportive of business and enterprise, wanting to have strong defence, believing in the strong defence of liberty and these kind of things - but in the past have felt held back because the Conservative Party was sending them a signal that we didn't support them or their lifestyle," he said.
"That has changed. I think we can look gay people in the eye and say, 'You can now back us... because we now support gay equality'."
Mr Cameron's speech to the 2005 party conference in which he persuaded delegates to applaud gay marriage was seen as a breakthrough moment for his party.
"That was a proper good old- fashioned, heart-in-the-throat moment," he remembered.
"If you lead the party, it's your chance to put your own stamp on things and do things your own way. And sorting out this issue has been a complete pleasure in terms of that, and badly needed doing. Am I the first person to spot it? No. But I think we've done some big steps on that."