Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale's gay marriage views spark meeting

Sir Roger Gale
Image caption Sir Roger Gale said he believed marriage was unique to the union between a man and a woman

A public meeting has been held in Kent to discuss a Conservative MP's comments about same-sex marriage.

It was called after the Conservative MP for Thanet North, Sir Roger Gale, said he opposed the government's plan to allow gay marriage.

Thanet Independent Councillor Ian Driver said he had been contacted by "outraged" constituents who wanted to register their "disgust".

He said "lots of people" were planning to attend the meeting in Margate.

In his letter to Thanet Extra last month, Sir Roger said he believed that marriage described the union, in church or out of it, of one man and one woman, and that removing husband and wife from official documents took "equality into a realm that is almost Stalinist in its political correctness".

'Old-fashioned bigotry'

He asked: "Will Shakespeare, Milton and the Holy Bible be rewritten also?"

Defending his remarks later, he said he believed marriage was unique to the union between a man and a woman.

But Mr Driver, who organised the public meeting, said it was his impression that many people in Thanet wanted to "make a stand against the old-fashioned bigotry expressed by Gale and demand equal rights in marriage".

"The people I have spoken to are a cross-section of Thanet - men, women, young, old, gay lesbian, transgender and straight.

"I am grateful to Roger Gale for encouraging a spontaneous show of community solidarity against homophobia prejudice," he said.

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