Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Labour MP Chris Bryant: Baroness Shirley Williams is ‘sickeningly homophobic’

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. He is right about her.

    She is a vile old dinosaur who should have no place in modern politics

    1. Vile, yes.

      Dinosaur, yes. In the sense that they had remarkably small brains and died out because they couldn’t adapt to changing conditions.

      But Old?? You’ve completely undermined your argument with that nasty, ageist jibe. Some of the best comments in the SSM debate in the Lords came from the oldest peers.

      1. I agree, she might be homophobic, bigoted and ignorant but ageism is as wrong as any other forms of discrimination.

    2. “She is a vile old dinosaur who should have no place in modern politics”

      Yes and Shirley Willliams is not much better!

  2. … What she said had nothing to do with his sexuality. I don’t see the homophobia in this.

  3. Her record certainly makes her a homophobe but I fail to see how what she said in this particular instance makes her so. I’d say it’s a fair point that on the issue of school meals a parent will see things from a different POV compared to someone without children, regardless of sexuality

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Sep 2013, 4:30pm

      Nonsense. You don’t have to be a parent to support free meals for school children. I strongly support it and I have no children or intend adopting any. Her remarks were inappropriate. You might as well say that single non-married MPs shouldn’t be allowed to vote for legislation affecting married people.

      1. I’m not saying it’s one or the other. I’m simply saying his having a view based on not having children is perfectly understandable and I don’t see anything homophobic in her saying so. Would he see it differently if he did have kids, most likely. That’s all I was trying to say

        1. Shirley Williams may have produced human offspring many decades ago. I don’t know. But the fact is that at this point in time her opinion on school meals is no more valid than a homosexual politicians. Bryant is right: Williams was effectively saying, “Aeons ago I produced children: that means I can have a valid view on this matter, and people who have not produced children themselves cannot!”

          We know she voted against allowing homosexual people the right to marry. She’s a homophobe.

  4. I don’t see how Williams’ comments on this occasion were homophobic. Stupid, yes, but homophobic? I don’t see that. Plenty of people, of all orientations, don’t have children for many various reasons.

    It’s interesting how Bryant calls her a homophobe, and points to her voting record, yet she voted in favour of equal marriage. I notice that Bryant’s never said anything about the Labour MPs and Lords who voted against.

    I’ve been angered by some of the things that Shirley Williams has said with regards to the people who voted against equal marriage, but this just smells of pure opportunism on Chris Bryant’s part.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Sep 2013, 4:33pm

      What planet are you living on? She most certainly didn’t vote for equal marriage in any passage of the bill in the Lords and supported wrecking amendments to defeat it. She was conveniently absent during the Section 28 repeal. How much clearer does it get? She may well support other areas of equality as long as it doesn’t conflict with her religious beliefs. So Bryant’s comment was appropriate and pretty accurate.

      1. Not according to this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22779586

        That lists her down as having supported the government’s bill. I never said that her other past votes have been good, just that in this instance she voted in favour.

        1. You need to understand that vote. Two groups voted against the Dear motion: one group in favour of Equal Marriage, the other sensing it would pass and wanting to water it down. Williams was in this group. If you really want to know which side she was on, google her HoL speech on the matter. (It’s 100% homophobia).

          1. Oh, my mistake then. I assumed that because she had voted against the wrecking amendment that meant that she must have favoured equal marriage, despite some of the other things she had said. I was unaware that some people were voting against it for ulterior motives.

        2. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Sep 2013, 5:12pm

          That was in second reading! She supported Lord Hylton’s wrecking amendment in third reading but the bill passed by acclamation. I very much doubt she would have supported it without the amendment and seemed very adamant about Hylton’s amendment being carried. Thankfully, it wasn’t and no thanks to her either.

  5. Announcing her support for the unsuccessful amendment, Baroness Williams argued that as well as biological differences, men and women approach relationships differently – making opposite-sex couples the most “stable” parents.

    Really. My parents were very unstable, what with the domestic violence and the alcoholism and all…

    Hey, she seems to have forgot the 50% divorce rate, the domestic violence rate, the teenage pregnancy rate, the single mother rate and the orphanage rate.

    Heterosexual relationships don’t sound very “stable” to me these days.

    In short, she’s living in a 1950s delusional fantasy land of happy nuclear families and white picket fences

    I’m so glad we have delusional old dinosaurs making the decisions…

    1. Her own marriage record is not exactly unblemished either. And her parenting record suspect – this from my personal experience of knowing her offspring.

  6. I have met Baroness Shirley Williams whilst at university as she was talking too women’s groups about families work. She spoke with me about same sex marriage knowing I was openly gay. She was very lovely and very supportive and we spoke at length about gay rights. She never had a bad word too say about gay people and she acknowledged some her friends including Simon Hughes. Chis Bryant has got another agenda here

    1. But her voting record speaks for itself doesn’t it!

    2. wow a Lib Dem tells a potential voter what she thinks they want to hear! What’s the betting that if you were anti-equality she would have said the exact opposite. It’s what Lib Dems are famous for.

      And remember she was never a Liberal, she came to the party through the SDP route, a party which didn’t support equal rights.

      1. Elston Gunn 20 Sep 2013, 9:29pm

        you fail to mention the SDP sprang out of Labour… and was led by Roy Jenkins who was important in the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK.

        I think the real problem with the UK political system is that the Christian socialists/democrats, such as Williams, Teather, Stephen Timms etc. don’t naturally fit into any of the main parties and hence are willing to subsume political ideology under religious conviction at times.

        1. Elston Gunn 20 Sep 2013, 9:31pm

          That is to say, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing

          1. Or in Shirley Williams case a she-wolf in men’s style clothing.

    3. So, she’s a hypocrite … says one thing to your face but then stabs you in the back by voting in favour of anti-gay legislation. But, as I’ve said elsewhere, she’s a product of her religion. Pity she’s allowed it to colour her undoubted instinctive nature of ‘fairness’.

    4. It’s not just her voting – she spoke out nastily in the HoL debate on the issue! – no pandering to potential voters on that occasion.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Sep 2013, 5:15pm

        Yes, it was quite nasty hearing her rant in support of Hylton’s wrecking amendment. By that we can deduce she didn’t support third reading either even though she supported it in the second.

    5. A wolf in sheeps clothing.

      Nothing worse than them being lovely and nice to our faces and then stabbing us in the back with her vote vote.

      At least when they are blatantly bigoted to our faces we know where we stand.

  7. Godric Godricson 20 Sep 2013, 4:40pm

    Shirley lost the plot some years ago. The lecture circuit in the Ivy league Universities has gone to her head.

  8. Shirley Williams is indeed sickeningly homophobic.

    Then again so is Simon Hughes

  9. Why do the lib dem party keep these people in their party? She is indeed sickenly homophobic and an embarrassment to her party. I’m 100% behind CB on this one which makes a change becuase he usually sounds such a prick on most things.

  10. Yes – she certainly is. But it’s not her fault. She’s the product of the brainwashing handed out by her religion. Not everyone is strong enough to (a) question it and (b) break free.

    1. Tim Chapman 20 Sep 2013, 6:13pm

      Yes, some are weak, but Williams is as tough as old boots. Her choice, her fault.

      1. True – but it really depends on her ‘ability’ to question what is undoubtedly ‘brainwashing’. I was lucky. I rebelled against the silly nonsense when I was nine. Some are NEVER able to rid themselves of all the superstitious rubbish. Williams is one. She is a PRIME example of how insidious is the damage of a religious upbringing.

  11. Christopher Coleman 20 Sep 2013, 5:13pm

    How very sad all this is. There was a time when some people wanted to see Shirley Williams lead the Labour Party and, perhaps, become the country’s first female PM. Instead we got Thatcher and look at the country now. It is a pity that people stay in the public eye for longer than they need to, especially when their “senior” behavior and opinions cancel out all the god impressions of their earlier selves.

    1. Christopher Coleman 20 Sep 2013, 5:16pm

      Sorry. I meant “good” not “god”!! Unconscious bias?

  12. I used to greatly admire Shirley Williams;I thought she was one of the most principled politicians of her generation. So I’ve been very disappointed recently by some of what she’s been saying.

    I feel a bit like the moment when you hear your grandfather saying something horrendously racist, and try to excuse it by saying “he’s of a different generation”.

    1. Christopher Coleman 20 Sep 2013, 9:59pm

      But the generation thing is very real. I know that I cannot say things now that would have been perfectly acceptable only a few years ago. Cultural differences also have to be taken into account. Makes life so hard, especially as I was raised to speak my mind. On the plus side, I keep the enemies I make.

  13. Most people forget that Williams attempted to introduce an amendment in the Lords which would have allowed Roman Catholic adoption societies to discriminate against gay couples. The woman is an evil, Roman Catholic homophobe. .

  14. So because CB won’t do any more interviews with PN cos they twist his words so much, they’ve now had to resort to cutting and pasting his twitter feed. Kind of sad really. At least they can’t misquote him this way.

    Anyway he’s well right about Williams.

  15. SKensington 20 Sep 2013, 7:51pm

    Demonising Shirley Williams weakens your arguments. I also disagree with Lady Williams on this point, too, but your comments are not only uncivilized and undeserved, they’re not true, She is not condemning homosexuals, merely saying that in her view marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman. Others can — and do — disagree, but to tear her down and to say things that are untrue is unprofessional. Wait a minute… you’re an MP. Never mind.

  16. chris bryant, gaydar superstar and defender of failed immigration policies towards gay asylum seekers having a go at biggest disappointment of british politics. tragicomedy or what?

    1. The only reason he’s a ‘gaydar superstar’ is because of homophobic newspapers reporting that. And you fall into their hands by judging him by their hate.

      1. im on about principles, gaydar superstar has none. he takes full advantage of freedoms that gays enjoy in western world but at the same time he is happy to defend homophobic asylum polices towards lgbt like the one from home office that has been refusing asylum claims by gay men on the grounds they could hide their sexuality – and therefore avoid persecution at home – by behaving discreetly.

        1. I think you’ll find you’ve misunderstood CB’s position on this – perhaps you’re relying a little too much on PN’s twisted reporting in the matter.

          1. perhaps it will come as surprise to you but i rarely relay on copy and paste pink news articles as the source of well informed news. as for gaydar superstar he has defended immigration policies regarding gay asylum seekers that has been criticised by many, including caroline lucas, peter tchatell and leading immigration barristers like S Chelvan of No5 Chambers who said “I have read some interview records which are more akin to some sort of pornographic movie script, rather than investigating humanely the asylum claim.”

          2. It does surprise me, Kane. Given your informatikn on this is wrong.

          3. feel free to elaborte

  17. Elston Gunn 20 Sep 2013, 9:44pm

    Williams demonstrates why we need HoL reform. Her hole performance last night stank – but she’ll be a feature of British political life for a while yet I suspect, to everyone irritation.

    1. Hmm, perhaps try “whole”rather than “hole”.

      1. Elston Gunn 21 Sep 2013, 8:58pm

        more like digging a hole

        1. “By Jove! I think she’s got it”

  18. To me Shirley Williams always had quite a mannish way about the way she presented herself throughout her career, not just her short but usually scruffy looking hair and perfunctory clothing – often showing a preference for men’s style collared shirts, but also in her mannerisms as well.
    It may go somewhere to explain her homophobia, possibly insecure about her own sexuality and femininity.

      1. Elston Gunn 21 Sep 2013, 7:45pm

        I’m sorry, I think this is below the belt and not very helpful. I don’t think people should be judged by their looks and to reinforce the stereotype that a less feminine looking women is a lesbian is beyond the pale as far as I am concerned. Williams just looks like any other elderly British women.

        1. You are ignoring the evidence, I made no comment about her looks, just about her presentation and mannerisms. I rather like her undeniably mannish way of dressing but I am appalled by her irrational homophobia.

          1. Elston Gunn 21 Sep 2013, 8:56pm

            If you said that she was insecure about her own femininity in a political context then fine (because most British female politicians from that era were unfairly forced into suppressing their femininity), but you didn’t, you included her sexuality. She’s looks perfectly fine here next to Peter Ustinov so unless you want to start debating women’s fashion trends over the last 40 years I fail to see how her appearance should be an indication of her politics, or her sexuality, or her homophobia. Edwina Currie is a case in point, she likes women’s power suits but that doesn’t make her a lesbian. Your being unfairly ageist

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fb/Shirley_Williams_appearing_with_Peter_Ustinov_on_After_Dark.JPG

          2. Elston Gunn 21 Sep 2013, 9:08pm

            and I hope my spelling matched your pedantic standards this time… if you don’t like debating issues then why post on here?

          3. Gosh, I said nothing about her age nor did I say she looked unpleasant, I said she dressed in a mannish style and provided ample examples to illustrate same.
            That she is homophobic is probably caused by a mixture of her religious prejudice and as with almost all homophobes, a degree of insecurity about her own sexual orientation, in my opinion.

        2. You are clearly a peevish twat Elston Gunn with poor reading comprehension as well as dodgy spelling.

          Shirley Williams needn’t be a lesbian to have insecurities about her own sexual orientation and most homophobes do have insecurities about their own sexual orientation.

          I absolutely commented on her masculine clothing choice but I never once mentioned her looks nor her age nor women’s fashion, that’s all strictly coming from you.

          You say, all older women look the same to you, now that really is a dismissive and ageist comment.

          1. Elston Gunn 22 Sep 2013, 12:19pm

            And a troll is born!

            Thanks for the name calling!

          2. Yes, I knew you were a troll immediately, I’ve never come across Elston Gunn before in the 10 yrs or so that I have been posting here.

  19. It was a stupid and insensitive thing to say about Hughes though not on its own homophobic. In the context she would have said the same thing about a straight childless politician. Chris Bryant was wrong to accuse her because of this but right to point the finger at her incriminating voting record. I’m very disappointed in here and wrote to tell her some months ago. No reply, of course.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Sep 2013, 10:10pm

      None of us could second guess what she would say about a straight childless politician. It was unfortunate that the person she targeted happened to be bisexual Simon Hughes, not a man I have any respect for but she should have kept her mouth shut. She could have easily issued a blanket statement covering all who are opposed to the school policy instead of singling him out.

  20. Good grief, imagine waking up next to THAT each morning.

    Y-fronts or no y-fronts!

    1. I think Chris Bryant has quite a very presentable swimmers body, I don’t see what you are going on about to be honest, he looks just fine in swimmers or y-fronts.

      1. i think he meant shirley williams but seriously chris bryant he would greatly benefit from headless profile pic

        1. Surely you don’t think she wears men’s y-fronts as well as men’s shirts do you? (lol)

  21. Not sure if there is much difference between the two of them, to be perfectly honest.

    1. Are you sure you’d have no preference ? …If you had only the choice between Chris Bryant or Shirley Williams?

  22. I find it odd that she says Hughes Is wrong on school meals because he doesn’t have kids.

    By that bad logic it mean that we should only employ in our hospitals oncologists who have cancer?

    Apart from this I think she is so out of touch with reality that she needs to get out of public life.

  23. Patrick Mc Crossan 22 Sep 2013, 1:10pm

    I watched Quetion Time and I could not see or hear anything Homophobic.

    Shirley Williams has always been a politician with views, and she does not have any dodgy dealings with second homes.

    I have only ever seen Shirley suitably dressed in all her on tv and on line appearences.

    Now Chris Bryant he of dodgy pants on GayDar is not someone I would trust to run a whelk stall at a market.

    He ignored all my emails as did Ed Milliband when I asked him about Chris Bryant’s expenses.

    Chris Bryant a man of many words except when it involves himself.

    http://www.newsrt.co.uk/news/liam-fox-andy-burnham-and-chris-bryant-in-new-mps-expenses-scandal-880975.html

    1. Nobody claimed Shirley Williams was ever not suitably dressed only that her style of dress is often decidedly mannish and this, in a presumably heterosexual straight woman who also opposes full gay equality, is comment worthy.

      I am not at all implying she may be a lesbian but her often masculine dress sense suggests to me that she may have insecurities about her her own sexuality and sexual orientation and this is something that may be relevant to her overt homophobia alongside her religious prejudices.

  24. White squirrel 23 Sep 2013, 5:51am

    regardless of wherther or not these people are pro or anti gay
    the statement
    ‘how can you have a view on homosexuality unless you’re homosexual?’
    is just foolish
    is like saying ‘how can you have a veiw on a religion unless you follow it !

    1. It was supposed to be ridiculous and was said in response to Shirley Williams idiotic statement that roughly translated as ” How can you have an opinion about the free school meals policy unless you are or have been a parent.”
      Homophobic Shirley Williams, who opposes same sex marriage equality, is being inconsistent in applying her own logic. If she was applying her own logic consistently then not being a homosexual she would not be entitled to an opinion about same sex marriage.

  25. Colin (London) 24 Sep 2013, 9:11am

    Sadly I think this once great woman is struggling with the demands of religion as she faces her death and living in an ongoing changing world that is becoming more accepting and inclusive.

    Her comments to me an uncle of 11 nieces and nephews whom I love and at times doted on are sad and strange.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all