Conservative MP Sir John Stanley has been branded homophobic after claiming that being gay was just a passing fad.
The married MP said homosexuality was a ‘normal phase’ for youngsters before they became heterosexuals in later life.
Sir John, 71, made his comments following the the controversial Commons vote which legalised same-sex marriages
In a letter to constituents in his Kent seat of Tonbridge and Malling, he explained why he was one of 175 MPs to vote against the bill.
The legislation was passed with a majority of 225 votes on Tuesday.
Sir John, a former minister in the Thatcher governments in the eighties, is married with two children. He is retiring at the next general election.
Among the three reasons Sir John gave for his opposition to the bill were Government interference over the issue and his belief that gay marriage would not achieve equality in law.
But he caused controversy when he wrote: “Enshrining gay marriage into law will be unhelpful and positively damaging to young people going through the perfectly normal phase of being attracted to other young people of the same sex before arriving at a heterosexual orientation subsequently.”
Nic Evans and his partner Steve who own The Swan pub in Edenbridge, Kent, had a civil partnership ceremony last August. They were horrified by their MP’s views.
Nic, 49, told the Daily Star: “I find it really disappointing when I discover comments which I believe are homophobic.He’s been there since 1974 and is obviously one of the old guard of the Tories.”
He added: “We’re just lucky we’re part of a community here in Edenbridge where it’s never been an issue.”
“He’s stepping down at the next election – so good riddance to him, I say.”
Yes, those words are actually real. People actually think like that. I am baffled….