Earlier today (Friday) Conservative MP, Andrew Turner told A-level students that homosexuality is “wrong” and “dangerous to society”.
Not surprisingly, the news has spread nationally pretty quickly, being picked up by National newspapers as well as LGBTQ publications and bloggers.
Labour election boss: “Theresa May should intervene”
There have been countless calls across social media for Mr Turner’s resignation, including from Labour’s election boss, Andrew Gwynne, who told PinkNews,
“These allegations are deeply worrying. Theresa May should intervene and investigate immediately, and if true, Andrew Turner needs to be suspended as a Tory candidate.
“There is no place for bigotry and hatred like this in modern society, and no one holding these views is fit for public office.
“I look forward to Theresa May doing the right thing, and speaking out against these homophobic allegations and show that she is now serious about LGBT equality.”
Youth MP: “This man can never again speak for us”
Isle of Wight Member of Youth Parliament, Joe Davies, told OnTheWight,
“Andrew Turner has today proved that he is unfit for office as the Isle of Wight’s MP. He has a truly awful voting record regarding LGBT rights and his comments today confirm that he is a absolute homophobe.
“I am calling on him to resign, and on Ian Ward, chairman of the Isle of Wight Conservative Association to rescind their nomination. This man can never again speak for us whilst holding our LGBT community, of which we are so proud, in contempt. Love wins, and, come the 8th of June, so must anyone but Turner.”
IW Pride: “Deeply shocked and saddened”
Matthew Bundy from Isle of Wight Pride told OnTheWight,
“As a group we avoid making political comments, but in the light of the attached Facebook post by Esther, we are deeply shocked and saddened.
“Any person who makes such a statement in a public forum as our MP is dangerous. Suicide rates amongst LGBT young people are still disproportionately high. Mr Turner did not know if anyone in the room was struggling with their Sexuality or Gender identity and he does not know how his comments may impacted on those present.
“There are lots of organisations available to provide support and guidance to LGBT young people, including Stonewall and also our own Breakout Youth service.
“Nobody should be told they are a danger to society based on who they love or their Gender identity.
Isle of Wight Pride have not specifically invited any individuals as we want to be as inclusive as possible and want All to feel welcome.
“We openly welcome Mr Turner to attend Pride, meet some of his own constituents that he is supposed to fully represent and find out for himself that we are not a dangerous group of Human Beings and that #LoveWins.”
Lowthion: “Deeply deeply worrying”
Leader of the Isle of Wight Green Party and prospective parliamentary candidate, Vix Lowthion, said,
“Deeply deeply worrying. This seems to be appalling behaviour from an MP who is supposed to represent all his constituents. Sadly I am not shocked.
“We have a number of young, gay, green councillor candidates standing up for election to our council on Thursday. I am horrified that our current MP could think that they are Wrong and Dangerous to Society.
“It frankly makes me feel sick.
“We have to stand as our community and fully reject any such poisonous attitudes and set of values.
They don’t speak for me. They don’t speak for many of us.”
LibDems condemn Turner’s comments
Nicholas Belfitt, Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats prospective parliamentary candidate, told OnTheWight,
“The Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats condemn Andrew Turner’s comments today. We at the Isle of Wight Lib Dems want to reinforce our commitment to helping and supporting the LGBT+ community on the Island, and are against all kinds of discrimination, and discrimination at any level.
“What Mr Turner has said is wrong, discriminatory and brings into question in his position as a MP.
“Our PPC Nick Belfitt has and will continue to work closely with groups like Pride on the Isle of Wight to make sure we can be build a better inclusive community on the Island. We look forward to working with Isle of Wight Pride and LGBT+ community in the future.”
Petition: Stand down Turner
An online petition has been created set up calling for Andrew Turner to stand down as Isle of Wight MP.
Set up by Chris Ilott, the petition reads,
“On Friday morning, Andrew Turner (MP for the Isle of Wight) openly said to a class of A Level politics students that homosexuality was both “wrong” and “dangerous to society.
“I can speak for the vast majority of people when I say that these views are not welcome in 2017. Not in public and certainly not in politics. This type of language is harmful to the LGBTQ+ community on a scale that people like Turner cannot even imagine.
“This petition demands that Turner does not run as candidate for the Conservative Party on the Isle of Wight in the General Election, as his views do not represent the majority of voters on the Island.”