STAUNCH Catholic Ann Widdecombe, above, newly-minted Brexit Party European Union member, thinks that science might eventually cure homosexuality.
This prompted writer and actor Stephen Fry to ask :
Will science ever find an answer to Anne Widdecombe?
The new Brexit Party MEP – a veteran campaigner against LGBT rights – made the remarks while defending support she gave to “gay cure” treatments.
The former Tory home affairs chief was hauled up on a 2012 article that defended “gay conversion” therapy, and said the “homosexual lobby” was stopping people who want to turn straight from doing so.
Critics say “gay conversion” is unethical and people are pressured into it. Theresa May has branded the practice “abhorrent” and vowed to ban it.
But Widdecombe today defended her comments and went further, telling Sky News science may yet “provide an answer” to the question of whether people can “switch sexuality”.
Gay Labour MP Wes Streeting said:
Ann Widdecombe is a relic from a bygone era, whose petty prejudices are out of touch with the vast majority in Britain. It’s only a shame that science can’t cure Ann Widdecombe.
Fellow Labour MP Stephen Doughty, co-chair of the LGBT+ Parliamentary Labour Party, said:
Ann Widdecombe needs to stick her sick, twisted prejudice back where it belongs – back in the 19th century. Surely Nigel Farage will now be suspending her from the Brexit Party and removing the party whip? Her comments put young people struggling with their sexuality at risk. She should be ashamed.
However she dresses it up in sequins there’s something really nasty at the heart of what she says. She clearly thinks there’s something wrong with being gay and wants to cure us or make us disappear.
Sadly every time she adds a little bit of this poison to the well another gay teenager will be bullied or harm him or herself.
Widdecombe suggested today that it would be wrong to “deny people the chance” to change if they are “discontented” with being LGBT.
She also risked angering transgender rights activists by comparing “gay conversion” – which attempts to stop people being LGBT – to their fight to change their legal gender more easily.
Asked about her 2012 remarks, she said:
I also pointed out there was a time when we thought it was quite impossible for men to become women and vice versa. And the fact we now think it’s quite impossible for people to switch sexuality doesn’t mean science may not yet produce an answer at some stage.
I don’t know, any more than people once knew whether it was possible for men to become women.
Saying she was often “misrepresented” on the subject, she continued:
I’ve never claimed such science already exists. I’ve never claimed that. I’ve merely said that if you simply rule out the possibility of it, you are denying people who are confused about their sexuality, or discontented with it, the chances that you do give to people who want to change gender.
Now that’s all I’ve said. I do not imagine that the Brexit Party will be putting forward a policy on gay sex changes in its manifesto.
Time for the folk in white coats to take her away in a straitjacket.