In the episode which aired on Sunday, January 7, Shane Janek – Courtney‘s male alter-ego – told Widdecombe that, prior to entering the house, he had conducted reseach on his soon-to-be housemates and discovered that she is an opponent of same-sex marriage.
Widdecombe told Janek in her belief, marriage is between a man and a woman and that “marriage equality…is a redefinition of marriage.”
At this point, trans former news reader India Willoughby, who was also present during the discussion, stated: “If two people love each other and want to get married, it doesn’t impact on anyone else.”
“But you’re not saying they can’t live together and all the rest of it, you’re saying you don’t apply the definition of marriage,” Widdecombe responded.
“If marriage is suddenly no longer between a man and a woman, why not between a man and two women?” she added. “Why not polygamy?”
After some prompting from Rachel Johnson, sister of Boris, the former MP went on to reveal that she had in fact voted for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain in 1968, but for practical, rather than ideological reasons.
“I was in favour of the legalisation as it was a huge source of blackmail, but I also thought what two consenting adults do in private isn’t anybody else’s business.”
Widdecombe was a Privy Councillor and a Conservative Party MP from 1987 until her retirement in 2010. The former MP has appeared on many reality television-type shows over the years, including Celebrity Fit Club, Dancing With The Stars and a programme about benefits “scroungers” in which she stayed with the family of Mick Philpott (later found guilty of starting a fire in which seven of his children died).
Following the discussion between the pair, Jenek retired to the Diary Room where he told Big Brother that he was pleased to have a “civilised” conversation with someone with whom he so strongly disagrees.
“I like that you can have a very civilised conversation with someone who has a very different opinion to yourself I think that’s very important. And while I strongly disagree with Ann’s opinions and reasons for her opinions, I respect her right to have them.
“We can still co-exist as human beings.”
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