The Education Secretary and Minister for Equalities Nicky Morgan has hit out at some gay rights campaigners for the "vitriol" she has received on social media.
Addressing the Stonewall education conference, being held in London, Morgan said "sometimes people take that little bit longer" to back lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) equality demands that "might seem blindingly obvious" to others.
The Tory MP for Loughborough opposed same-sex marriage reforms two years ago, but since being given the additional role of equalities minister has said she "probably would" back the law if the vote was held now.
Morgan is reported by the Telegraph to have complained that supporters of same sex marriage had not been vocal enough about their positions, when the vote on the issue was held in Parliament two years ago.
Today, addressing the conference run by the LGBT rights charity Stonewall, she said "sometimes people take that little bit longer" to back lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) equality demands that "might seem blindingly obvious" to others.
"What I do find difficult, however, is the level of vitriol that I sometimes receive, from people with whom I'm very much on the same side in fighting for equality.”
Morgan went on to say that "Of course politicians have to stand and be counted because of their votes... but, I think there's a wider lesson that sometimes - particularly on Twitter or other social media - it's easier to shout and hector than it is to recruit new allies.
"Sometimes that is justified, but other times it only serves to make us feel better for a moment. It risks alienating allies of the future - those people who want us to help them change their minds and who will be our champions in the future."
But Fran Cowling, the LGBT officer for the National Union of Students, is unimpressed with Morgan’s remarks.
“Nicky Morgan may now have changed her mind about same-sex marriage," Cowling told the Independent, "but when her LGBTQIA constituents needed her most she let them down and a simple apology for some is just not going to cut it.”
“Actions often speak louder than words and if Nicky Morgan wants to atonement for her past behaviour then she’s going to have to fight tooth and nail for LGBT equality under her Party’s Government who historically have not worked to champion LGBTQIA rights.”
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