A member of the Isle of Man’s parliament has been accused of using language more akin to the Nazis during a debate about the rights of transexuals.
John Houghton, a House of Keys member for Douglas North, spoke out against a gender recognition bill that will bring Isle of Man legislation into line with the UK.
“It defies common decency,” he said.
“I can’t support it, I won’t support it. It takes human rights too far.”
Fellow MHK Peter Karran (Onchan) told iomotoday.com.im:
“It’s what the Nazis used to say about the Jews.
“I thought we had got away from this Island being seen as a fascist, reactionary backwater.”
21 MHKs voted in favour of the bill at second reading – one voted against.
Under the proposed law a transsexual person who has been issued with a full gender recognition certificate will be legally regarded as being of their acquired gender, and that a transsexual will be able to marry a person of the opposite gender to their acquired gender.
The Bill also states that the General Registry will establish a strictly confidential Gender Recognition Register to record the details of all gender recognition certificates that have been offered to the Chief Registrar.
It is based on similar legislation introduced in the UK, the Gender Recognition Act.
Comments from readers on the iomtoday website about Mr Houghton’s ourburst are overwhelmingly negative.
“Dear Mr Houghten (sic) I would like you to read this,” an anonymous poster wrote.
“I am a 14 year old male and I live here on the Isle of Man and I want have a sex change hopefully when I am older.
“I have read your comments about Transexuals rights and I completely disagree with the comments you have made, they are pathetic and how can you judge someone like that?
“Please read this and think about your comments. I would like to meet you and tell you how I feel. Anon.”
NM of Laxey wrote: “I have some sympathy with Mr Houghton. How awful it must be to be trapped in what appears to be the body of a normal male, when you are in effect a bigoted fascist and homophobe.”
80,000 people live on the Isle of Man. It is not part of the UK or the EU.
It has its own legal system and is a British Crown dependency.
Treasury Minister Allan Bell told iomtoday.com.im:
“I’ve got to say this is a very, very sad day for the Isle of Man. Having gone through the period to try to bring about change in the relation to the gay issue and the absolutely horrendous debate that took place here in this court, I never thought I would hear such an outburst in this chamber again.”
The Isle of Man brought the homosexual age of consent into line with that of heterosexuals on the island in 2006, simultaneously scrapping rules stopping the discussion of homosexuality in schools on the island between teacher and pupil.
The debate around the issue was marred by homophobia.