Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has withdrawn his name from a religious rights motion after revealing that he had signed the petition accidentally.
The Parliamentary petition is said to enable those with religious beliefs to refuse to carry out certain duties that may conflict with their faith, including assisting or serving gay people. The motion, entitled ‘Religious Liberty in Public Life,’ was tabled by Gary Streeter, a Conservative MP, and was signed by 14 MPs, including Hancock.
Speaking to Portsmouth based, The News, the Lib Dem MP said: “I hadn’t looked closely enough at all the implications. I do believe, very strongly, that people’s beliefs should be taken into account when they are working, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of people of whatever religion or sexual preference living as equals in our society. I have removed my name from the motion. I’m not sure that was what its author intended, and it’s certainly not what I would want, so I have removed my name. I am not a homophobe, and neither am I someone who forms opinions about people because of their religious beliefs.”