Member of the Scottish Parliament Elaine Smith is complaining after she was the subject to attacks for declaring that she will vote against same-sex marriage in Scotland. According to the Labour MSP, she was branded a homophobe on Twitter and attacked on social media for being anti-equal marriage.
MSP Smith attended a meeting organized by Scotland for Marriage, the principal lobbying group opposed to the equal marriage legislation. There she said she would vote against the proposal. While meeting with her constituents, she whined about being labeled homophobic, claimed that she is not, and said she rejects the description of same-sex marriage as “equal marriage.”
She was especially upset that she was the target of nasty comments on Twitter saying “I explained that I intended to vote against this bill in tune with the wishes of the majority of my constituents who have contacted me. I predicted that in speaking or voting against these proposals, I would undoubtedly be verbally attacked and labelled homophobic. That prediction seems to be coming depressingly true.”
She went on to say “It is astonishing that a politician cannot represent the views of their constituents without being vilified and subjected to personal attacks. Speaking against the redefinition of marriage in modern Scotland, sadly, leads to verbal attacks which seem to be an attempt to try to shut down debate and intimidate opponents.”
One might point out that, if you don’t want to be called vile names or mocked in any sort of media social or otherwise the best thing to do is never get involved in politics.
MSP Smith argued that civil partnerships are good enough for lesbians and gays and claimed that same-sex marriage was an attempt to redefine the meaning of marriage away from it being a union between a man and a woman. A few thousand Scottish pre-Christian ghosts would probably like a word about redefining marriage as the Celtic marriage laws that governed Scotland before the arrival of Christianity allowed did not define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The Christians redefined them around the time of the Synod at Whitby.
Smith tried to call for a calm debate over the issue and called on the supporters of same-sex marriage to “make their rhetoric reality by confirming I am entitled to my view and, indeed, to represent the views of the majority of constituents who have contacted me”. Of course, a calm, respectful debate must be based on the facts, something that Smith is, apparently, lacking on.
Equality Network’s Director Tim Hopkins stated “Elaine Smith is entitled to her view, but she is wrong on the facts. A large majority of Scots, and an overwhelming majority of LGBT people, supports same-sex marriage. Those who want a same-sex marriage will be able to marry; those who don’t won’t have to, and no church will be required to do them. It’s about freedom of choice for all.”
He went on to say “This debate should be conducted in a respectful way – something we as an organisation have always done. We have not heard of any report of hate crime against people because they oppose equal marriage, but we would urge anyone who experiences any hate crime to report it to the police.”
It may become difficult for Scotland’s Parliamentary Members to vote against same-sex marriage in that nation should the House of Lords in England vote to approve the equal marriage bill before them right now.