POLITICS

Baroness Knight: 'Gays Are Very Good At Antiques'

05/06/2013 14:05 BST | Updated 05/06/2013 14:05 BST

A peer who voted against the government's same-sex marriage Bill in the House of Lords last night insisted that she was not homophobic and praised gay people for being "very good at antiques".

Baroness Knight, who as a minister in the 1980s introduced the Section 28 law that prohibited the "promotion" of homosexuality", caused a stir during the debate when she said gay people were "delightful, artistic and loving people".

Asked about her comments on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday, Baroness Knight said she was not suggesting gay people should be discriminated against as they were in the past.

She said: "We've all got friends who are homosexuals. They are often extremely, very, very good at artistic things, very good at things like antiques."

Baroness Knight added: "Certainly no reason at all to say they are not loving. I wasn't saying that. This Bill makes the mistake of thinking a parliamentary law can make us all equal."

Asked what she would have thought 50 years ago if she were told a Conservative prime minister would introduce gay marriage she said: "I'd probably have laughed."

"There have been any changes, and many many of them have been very good, I would never for one moment think there should be the kind of treatment of homosexuals that Oscar Wild had or [Alan] Turing had," she said. "I'm not against homosexuals, I'm for children."

On Tuesday evening the House of Lords crushed an attempt to kill off the gay marriage Bill by 390 votes to 148 - a majority of 242 in favour of same-sex weddings.