Celebrity Big Brother: Courtney Act argues with housemates over Ann Widdecombe’s stance on LGBT rights
Courtney Act has argued with housemates Amanda Barrie and Wayne Sleep about Ann Widdecombe’s voting record and stance on LGBT rights.
During her time as an MP from 1987 until 2010, Ann vehemently opposed gay rights – voting to block them at every opportunity.
Shane Jenek, the star behind Courtney Act, discussed Ann Widdecombe and her voting record with fellow housemates Amanda and Wayne during Sunday’s episode.
After the topic had been raised earlier in the show, Amanda said to Shane that any views Ann had about LGBT rights were irrelevant to liking her as a person.
“I think the gay rights thing is a bit dodgy quite frankly,” she said.
“I get on with Ann quite fine and I’m in a civil partnership.
“I don’t discuss it, I don’t discuss Catholicism. That’s it, full stop, I like her.”
Amanda continued, referencing her civil partnership with her partner, author Hillary Bonner.
“You think this is some sort of platform for gay rights or something and you’re not even in a civil partnership,” she said.
Shane responded by bringing up Ann’s voting record on LGBT issues, which has included opposing an equal age of consent, the Equality Act, same-sex adoption and civil partnerships.
Shane said: “Well to be fair, in 23 years of parliament she voted against every single pro-LGBT piece of legislation, which is your rights as a human being.”
Amanda replied: “It’s not my rights, it doesn’t affect me at all! I’m married.”
Shane was quick to respond by pointing out that she had benefited from LGBT rights.
They said: “Amanda you have these rights not due to people like Ann, but because of the people who stood up against Ann.”
Amanda then stated that she prefers to ‘take people as they are’ and that LGBT rights are not the only rights to be fought for.
She said: “When I got married, we didn’t ask for anyone’s acceptance. Every single person has taken it for who we are.
“It’s not all about gay rights, there are a lot of other rights going on.”
Shane agreed with Amanda and then moved the conversation towards Ann’s opposition to abortion.
Amanda Barrie is best known for her role as Alma on ITV soap opera Coronation Street.
In a heartfelt admission in her autobiography, Amanda spoke of how she was terrified to come out as bisexual due to the impact she believed it would have on her career.
Courtney and Ann have previously clashed during conversations about sexuality and gender before, most recently during Saturday’s episode as Ann rolled her eyes whilst Courtney and Wayne discussed sexuality.
Shane also discussed Ann’s stance on LGBT issues with fellow housemate Wayne Sleep during Sunday’s episode.
Wayne Sleep made headlines after revealing to his fellow housemates that he was unable to come out as gay whilst his mother was alive.
Discussing Ann Widdecombe’s stance on LGBT rights with Shane, the veteran dancer said that her history shouldn’t be used against her.
He said: “She did Strictly Come Dancing, that is not a politician anymore.
“This is a little show which I adore being in and there’s a woman here and you want me to pick her up about her past misdemeanours that you don’t agree with?”
Shane then referenced his knowledge of Ann’s voting record, which notably caused them to clash with Ann during an early episode of the series.
They conceded that whilst her voting record was shocking, Ann had not been hostile to them during the show.
Shane said: “I did my research before I came in… She’s a lot lovelier than I thought.”
Wayne was then surprised to hear Ann’s previous opposition to marriage equality, before then moving on from the conversation.
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“This isn’t a soapbox to start talking about politics,” he said.
Despite early expectations, Ann Widdecombe is now set to win this year’s Celebrity Big Brother, overtaking Courtney Act.
Watch Shane and Amanda’s heated discussion of Ann below
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) January 28, 2018