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Tory MP Henry Smith: MPs who abstained in the same-sex marriage vote are ‘chickens’

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  1. How does HE know?
    He’s just ASSUMING that ALL those abstainers were too “chicken” to vote AGAINST equal marriage!

    I’d say the ones who voted AGAINST (like him) were chicken- they were AFRAID to offend the Pope and the God Squad!

    Sarah Teather comes to mind- after all SHE chickened-out at the last minute didn’t she?

  2. His use of the term “lifestyle choice” is very telling. In fact, it says all you need know about him.

    His gay friends must be very tolerant people.

  3. GulliverUK 13 Feb 2013, 3:00pm

    I admit, I’m a bigot.

    I would never been seen in the company of an anti-gay Tory, and would severe all ties with anyone who held such repugnant views and who was actively working against our collective rights.

    Like Ben I cannot understand the mentality of somehow who says they have no problems with people who happen to be gay, except that they shouldn’t have the same rights as everybody else. If I’m a bigot for being intolerant of such people, so be it.

    1. Tim Chapman 13 Feb 2013, 4:56pm

      No it doesn’t make you a bigot because you don’t say he can’t think what he likes and unlike him you don’t seek to limit anyone else’s rights. You just say, quite rightly, that you would sever your ties with such people and so would I.

  4. What a childish term for a grown man to use. He should not be an MP

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Feb 2013, 3:07pm

    So I would assume then he would consider his heterosexuality and marriage a lifestyle choice? Odd that when it comes to gay people, ours is always referred to as a lifestyle, yet it’s never applied to a heterosexual. Now if he said religion is a lifestyle choice, then yes, he’d be right.

    I’m glad his so called ‘gay friends’ are not so comfortable around him as much as they may have been I’m glad he’s had a difficult time up until the vote and I hope that continues. Isn’t it revealing that a lot of those who voted against equal marriage suddenly have gay friends so they can’t be called a homophobe. Smiling at them in the face then stabbing them in the back last tuesday all because of the religionists in his constituency. That’s what I call outright bigotry. Delusional fool just doesn’t get it does he. We’ll remember him in 2015. We should all make a concerted effort up and down the country to try to unseat these vile people.

    1. So good to see that distinction spelt out by you, Robert. Yes, “lifestyle” is a powerful put-down. It says: ‘BEING gay is a fallacy. You choose to DO “gay”.’

      I maintain that the heterosexuals who insist that we have chosen a lifestyle are the ones who know that they have chosen to bury their homosexuality and adopt the facade, the guise, the masquerade of being part of a heterosexual couple.

      They don’t want us fully accepted, put on the same level as them, because it will mean that their suppression of their homosexuality will all have been in vain!

    1. Thanks for that link, Gulliver! It see the number of supporters for that petition is currently up to 380.

      Share the link around, everyone.

  6. I’ve had a number of dealings with Henry Smith when he was leader of West Sussex County Council, a Tory run council.

    I must say I’ve always found him fair and reasonable in his dealings and he was always quick to send written replies to my questions and so on.

    I was very disappointed to hear prior to the vote in Parliament that he was going to vote against, especially as he Nick Gibb MP (My MP) and Nick Herbert MP and even Sir Peter Botomley MP voted in favour.

    1. My MP is, unfortunately, a Tory homophobe, but he, like yours, has been brilliant in every other respect in my dealings with him. Organized, efficient, prompt.

      But too bad, I’m not going to fawn to my MP because of his good works. Quite the opposite. He, and others like him, need to expunge their homophobia.

  7. In reality it was clearly the other way around. Many of those voting against were trying not to upset what they thought of as “core tory voters” which would have included some of the holy.

  8. Scum Tory -

  9. Dear Mr Smith

    OF COURSE it has been difficult and stilted seeing your gay friends. You are, in effect, saying to them ‘I don’t regard you and your ‘lifestyle choice’ as equal to mine and I will vote for you to continue to be regarded as the second class citizens’. I am surprised they give you the time of day.

  10. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 13 Feb 2013, 3:39pm

    400 YES votes – out of a total of 565 sums and says it all really!

    Remember that is a 79% approval on a Government bill!

  11. Another bigot at the ballot.

  12. My goodness, these Tory homophobes are so determined to defeat the Bill that at least one of them has resorted to playground-style bullying, name-calling, taunting other members, dubbing them “chickens”!

    In effect Henry Smith is saying, “If you don’t vote to defeat the queers getting married, then you’re a chicken, you’re a coward, you’re gutless!”

    And that, friends, is fighting DIRTY.

    The debate last week WAS restrained. Seems Henry Smith has decided it’s time to start hitting below the belt and using the tactics of the playground bully.

  13. Rather a chicken than a biogtted homophobe.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Feb 2013, 4:39pm

      Better the devil you know…

  14. Seems he’s made two contradictory statements. On the one hand he thinks MPs who abstained are “chickens.” And on the other hand he’s worried that “there is very little middle ground.”

    1. Forgive me if I’m missing your point, Dave, but I can’t see the contradiction. Isn’t he claiming there is no middle ground, that one has to be either for or against, and that people who try to stay in the middle-ground, i.e., by abstaining, are chickens, afraid of saying either aye or nay?

      1. He said he was “disappointed on how polarised the equal marriage debate had become.” So, I thought he meant it would be better if MPs took a more nuanced view. But maybe your interpretation is correct.

  15. GulliverUK 13 Feb 2013, 4:29pm

    I think the “chicken” is the one that caves in to a well-orchestrated email campaign by religious groups, rather than doing what is right.

    Someone says they don’t have a problem with people who are Jewish but doesn’t believe they should have the same rights – we call them anti-Semitic.

    Someone says they don’t have a problem with people who aren’t white, but they shouldn’t have the same rights – we call them a racist.

    We call someone who believes people who are gay, simply because they are gay, shouldn’t have the same rights as everybody else a homophobe. Honestly, I don’t see a problem, it’s the correct usage.

  16. Spanner1960 13 Feb 2013, 4:38pm

    The man is right.
    One might not support him for his choice, but at least he had the courage of his convictions to do what he thought was right, rather than bottle out of it.

    1. GulliverUK 13 Feb 2013, 4:57pm

      I think he’s a gutless wonder, in his own words a “chicken”, and in your words I think he has “bottled” it, a weak-minded individual who caved based on how many emails he received. If I’d know I would have set up a system to generate huge number of similar but different emails and blanketed every MP with pro-equality emails.

      Is this what doing the right thing means – cowering to the group who can send the highest number of emails? Who knew? And if that is the case there is no need for MPs any more because we can devise a system where democracy is controlled directly by the people, and all laws are passed based on the number of emails we send in. He wanted as devolved a democracy as possible, I can’t think of anything more democratic than me sending in an email which is electronically counted and at a cut-off date the new law automatically into effect without any of this stupid MPs debating nonsense.

      1. Dave North 13 Feb 2013, 5:30pm

        And given that we already are a minority it stands to reason that he would receive less e-mails from us.

      2. Spanner1960 14 Feb 2013, 12:59pm

        Bollocks.
        If a politician cannot make a genuine decision in an unwhipped vote, then he doesnt deserve to be in the job.

        Abstaining is just a total cop-out to avoid demonstrating any responsibility.
        Let’s face it, either way you vote in this matter, you will get supporters and critics, and if you can’t handle that, you should sod off and let somebody in who can.

    2. The “courage of his convictions” is a phrase we normally apply when an honest person has had the courage of his convictions in circumstances where there was pressure to cover up, hide, or, in some other way, not adhere to the truth.

      Now, in Mr. Smith’s case he has not adhered to the truth: he has adhered to the opposite, to discrimination, to homophobia. Therefore one cannot credit him.

      1. Spanner1960 14 Feb 2013, 1:02pm

        That is his choice; many people do not support it because their religious beliefs are higher up their scale than their ones for equality. I do not see this as homophobia.

        I do not support those beliefs but I have respect for those that choose to stand by them, however misguided.

  17. Ed Stevens 13 Feb 2013, 8:25pm

    Enjoy life on the bank benches then Mr Smith. At least the PM has the common sense not to let your fellow bigot Nardine Dorries back into the party.

  18. “Tory MP Henry Smith: MPs who abstained in the same-sex marriage vote are ‘chickens’”

    MPs who voted against same-sex marriage are pigs.

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