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Lesbian newsreader calls anti-gay marriage MPs 'hurtful'

Alice Arnold, former BBC broadcaster and civil partner of Clare Balding, wants to be public face of equal marriage
Alice Arnold is finally able to speak out in favour of equal marriage with her partner Clare Balding.

Lesbian former broadcaster Alice Arnold has slammed anti-gay marriage MPs, calling them 'hurtful'.

In an interview with Gaydio, she responded to a question about House of Commons debates on same-sex marriage.

Arnold said: 'That is quite disconcerting when an argument comes up about it and you suddenly realise that people do not treat you equally and don't think of you equally.

'It brings out some horrible stuff doesn't it and brings out some very unkind thoughts and expressions', the 50-year-old added. 'It is hurtful'.

The former Radio 4 newsreader revealed she was not allowed to say what she thought before.

She said: 'If you are reading the news you are absolutely bound not to have an opinion inside or outside the BBC on any of those topics so I was not allowed to talk about it.

'Of course I had an opinion, so it releases me now to be able to speak about it.'

Arnold also discussed her 10 year partnership with sports presenter Clare Balding.

'We have always said that we are civil partners not that we are married because we are not married because we are not allowed to be married,' she stated.

'And that is a mouthful. And to be honest… it wasn’t the top of our agenda of something to fight about.'

Arnold explained how when equal marriage became a political issue, 'so much homophobic stuff' came out, she and Balding started to consider it 'more important than we had before, that we had absolute equality.'

MPs are set to debate and vote on the government's equal marriage legislation before the next parliamentary recess on 14 February.

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