By Eoin Marsh
A British politician from the Margaret Thatcher era has claimed that homosexuality is a “phase” which young people encounter in advance of becoming heterosexual later in life.
Former Tory minister Sir John Stanley, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, argued in a letter written to his constituents that “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.”
Stanley’s comments have emerged after the UK House of Commons approved same-sex marriage despite considerable resistance from many within the Conservative Party.
The 71-year-old MP wrote his letter after casting his own vote against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill. He previously held two ministerial positions in the administration of Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s, a government noted for its tough approach to social issues including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Stanley’s views are at odds with the general movement towards marriage equality in Europe which has gathered significant momentum recently.
Adrian Trett, Vice-Chair of the Liberal Democrats European Group, points out in an article for PinkNews that “the march towards equal marriage on the European continent is on an upward curve…to give everyone the freedom to love who they want whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or straight in Europe, and we all continue to share in the integrated benefits that the European Union brings to the table.”