English Deputy PM Clegg Repudiates Use of Term "Bigot" To Describe Pro-Marriage Citizens


When will this minimum standard of civility be embraced in the U.S.?

Nick Clegg has become embroiled in a row over gay marriage after aides had to remove comments in the draft version of a speech calling opponents "bigots".

... Mr Clegg later insisted he never intended to use such language as it was "not the kind of word" he would use.

Sources close to Mr Clegg said the "bigot" claim was "a mistake" in an early draft of the speech which should not have been released to the press.

... Extracts released early by officials said: "Continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots a stick to beat us with, as they demand we 'postpone' the equalities agenda in order to deal with 'the things people really care about'

... Conservative MP Peter Bone - who has repeatedly called for the coalition to be broken up - said if Mr Clegg believed what was said in the original draft of the speech, he was not a "fit and proper person to be deputy prime minister".

"Nick Clegg has got to explain himself and apologise very rapidly," he told the BBC News Channel.

... "This is not the way the deputy prime minister behaves."

The campaign group Coalition for Marriage, which opposes any change to the law, described the remarks as "intolerant".

"It also shows his contempt for the millions of ordinary men and women in this country who oppose the politically correct drive to rip up the centuries old definition of marriage," its campaign director Colin Hart said. -- The BBC