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Ann Widdecombe: Opposing gay marriage doesn’t make me homophobic

"I know a lot of gays who are opposed to gay marriage, but I am accused of homophobia because I am a straight who is opposed to it"

By Steve Brown

Ann Widdecombe claims that being opposed to equal marriage does not make her homophobic.

The former Conservative MP – who lost Celebrity Big Brother to drag queen star Courtney Act last year – has been a  vocal opposition to equal marriage.

While discussing whether drag queens should read fairy tales to schoolchildren on talkRADIO with Cristo Foufas, Widdecombe hit back at statistics which revealed more than half of schoolchildren have witnessed homophobic language from their peers.

She said: “First of all, I regard those statistics with a healthy dose of scepticism. When you are talking about homophobic hate crime, we had the ridiculous situation that people have accused discrimination and homophobia when they simply, and in one very famous cake, refused to put a slogan on a cake.

“I’ve been accused of homophobia merely because I am opposed to gay marriages. I know a lot of gays who are opposed to gay marriage, but I am accused of homophobia because I am a straight who is opposed to it.

“When I hear statistics like that I don’t immediately think ‘oh what a terrible society we live in’ so I’m afraid I really don’t see the need to start explaining things to three or four-year-olds who quite honestly know a different world and need these things revealed gradually, and crucially, crucially, it is parental responsibility which should decide when these things are revealed.”

When challenged by the openly gay radio presenter, Widdecombe stood by her views and brought into the debate that openly gay journalist Andrew Pierce and actor Christopher Biggins have both opposed equal marriage.

She continued: “Why do some gays oppose gay marriage? Are they homophobic? I doubt it.

“Hang on, for example the openly gay journalist Andrew Pierce wrote in the Daily Mail against gay marriage. When Christopher Biggins was interviewed, he said marriage was between a man and a woman. These people are not homophobic. A view and a position and the function of marriage that doesn’t match yours but they match mine.

“If you redefine marriage once, you can redefine it again. And if you can say, the centuries old tradition that marriage is no longer between a man and a woman, then why not say in the future it can be between a man and two women. Why not legalise polygamy?

“Now I’m not saying that’s where we are going but I am just saying those questions arise once you start on a redefinition of marriage. That is why I strongly oppose a redefinition of marriage.”

Listen to the full interview here.