Conservative MP Peter Luff has said that he received a flood of homophobic letters and emails after voting to support equal marriage legislation on Tuesday.
“I had around 200 letters and emails and 80 or 90% were opposed to it,” the MP said, according to the Worcester News. “Some of the emails I had were really foul, absolutely. I had a fair stream of homophobic emails from people.”
One of the letters told Mr Luff that he was being prayed for, and said he should “repent of his sins.”
“What saddened me was the lack of love and charity from some people towards their fellow human beings – people who believed themselves to be Christian,” said Mr Luff.
“I recognise the deep-seated and legitimate reservations of many others expressed in their thoughtful letters and e-mails in recent weeks. However, a majority of British people, especially younger people, support the change.”
He added: “I have also received a significant number of moving e-mails from those who welcome the end of this particular inequality and their ability to gain full public recognition of their love and commitment.”
As for the division of the Conservative Party over the issue, Mr Luff said: “Personally, I think it leaves David Cameron stronger but within the party he will be damaged.
“This is not an issue a lot of supporters feel good about and it will have an impact on people who help us out in county elections – that’s where the effect will be greatest.
“The party and the country was divided on it along generational lines, so in that respect it was an unwelcome distraction from the challenges facing the country,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned I just want to put this all behind us so we can concentrate on more important subjects.”
MPs had complained before the vote that the correspondence they had received from both sides of the debate had been overly vitriolic. Some even said that they had been pushed to vote for equal marriage because they were appalled by the opposition.