An MSP who believes that gay relationships are not in “any way equal” to straight ones says he has been upset by messages calling him a bigot.

Bill Walker, the MSP for Dunfermline, signed a motion stating that no one should be “forced to be involved with” gay marriages.

He told the Dunfermline Press that gay rights campaigners had sent him “highly abusive” messages about his views.

Mr Walker said: “I’m very upset about it. I feel I’ve been intimidated and almost threatened.

“I have been called a bigot and all sorts of names, saying I live in the dark ages.

“The irony is I got married a few weeks ago. Needless to say it was to a woman!”

He added: “There are things called civil partnerships, which I accept, but I’m really concerned about the use of the term ‘gay marriage’ because to me it’s a contradiction in terms and anything that puts homosexual relationships as any way equal to male-female marriages is just not right.”

Gay rights campaigner Tim Hopkins, of the Equality Network, told PinkNews.co.uk: “By saying that same-sex relationships are not in any way equal to male/female ones, Bill Walker is expressing homophobic prejudice.

“His remarks are an affront to many of his constituents, and not just the LGBT ones. He is free to express his opinions, but must expect those opinions to be criticised if they are prejudiced and offensive.”

He added: “Bill Walker claims to have received ‘highly abusive and bullying’ emails from ‘gay rights organisations’. However, the national LGBT organisations in Scotland – ourselves, Stonewall and LGBT Youth – invariably engage debate with anyone without abuse or exaggeration – unlike Bill Walker, it seems.”

The contentious motion was tabled by SNP MSP John Mason, who said he was trying to open up debate.

Last week, his SNP colleague Pete Wishart, the MSP for Perth and North Perthshire, wrote on Twitter: “John Mason’s nasty little anti-gay marriage motion is just wrong, and really disappointed that other colleagues have signed it.”

Gay SNP MEP Alyn Smith said Mr Mason was a “bigot”.

Deputy Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said Mr Mason’s views were “bizarre”, while Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who is gay, accused him of being stuck in the “dark ages”.