Clare Balding's partner hits out at 'horrible' gay jibes
Alice Arnold, the former BBC newsreader, has accused MPs opposed to gay marriage of making "horrible" and "hurtful" comments about the homosexual community.
Ms Arnold, the civil partner of Clare Balding, the sports presenter, said debates about same-sex marriage in the House of Commons had generated "very unkind thoughts and expressions".
The 50 year old admitted it was "quite disconcerting" to suddenly realise people did not "treat you equally and don't think of you equally".
The former BBC Radio 4 newsreader announced she would become a more outspoken public face of "marriage equality" after being gagged by the public broadcaster during her illustrious 20-year career.
Her comments came during an interview with a radio station for the homosexual community, after one of the interviewers described how they got "really, really angry" listening to debates in the parliament.
Arnold replied: "It brings out some horrible stuff, doesn't it, and it brings out some very unkind thoughts and expressions, I think.
"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 and it is hurtful."
She said quitting the BBC last month had given her the freedom to "sound off" about a range of issues.
"I wasn't allowed to give my opinion on equal marriage when I was reading the news," she said.
"Of course I had an opinion, so it releases me now to be able to speak about it now."
She said that while her and Balding, her partner of 10 years, wanted to get married if the laws were changed, the situation was "difficult".
Same-sex marriage has been fast-tracked by David Cameron despite strong opposition within his party and from some religious groups. (© Daily Telegraph, London)