Senior Winchester Tory worker criticises MP Steve Brine over gay marriage vote (From Hampshire Chronicle)
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Senior Winchester Tory worker criticises MP Steve Brine over gay marriage vote
WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine has come under fire for his anti-gay marriage stance.
Two senior members of the Winchester Conservative Association have expressed anger because of his opposition, which culminated in a vote in the House of Commons last Tuesday.
They are Paul Twelftree, the deputy political chairman, and Dave Chawner responsible for overseeing the delivery of leaflets.
Mr Chawner said he had resigned from the party and felt personally let down as Mr Brine and his wife had attended his civil partnership ceremony and reception.
He said: “It has been a major issue for many gay and lesbian people. It touches a raw nerve.
“I asked him why he was taking this view and he responded by saying ‘I’m a Christian and church-going’. As an MP surely you should represent the majority view and not just your own personal view?
“He went on to say that his post bag was overwhelmingly against gay marriage. It is just the God Squad down in the Chandler’s Ford area, a vocal minority, a few hundred out of 70,000 people. When I said he should represent the silent majority I didn’t get much of a reply.
“I’m gay. Around ten per cent of the population are gay, so that is 7,000 men and women in the constituency who have had a difficult enough life. When I was growing up in the 60s it was illegal. I lot of people have had lives distorted and disturbed.”
Mr Twelftree was unavailable for comment.
Mr Chawner said: “He (Mr Twelftree) was fuming about it. I don’t think he has resigned from the Conservative Association but from Steve Brine’s campaign team.”
Mr Brine, in an email, said: “People come and go from political parties all the time. It’s hardly a secret, as evidenced by my postbag and that of every other MP, that this issue was deeply divisive across the political spectrum.”
Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery voted in favour of gay marriage, saying: “I have always believed that a defining characteristic of any developed society is that it treats its citizens equally.”