Conservative MPs warn of gay marriage backlash

 
Conservative, Gainsborough Edward Leigh MP has concerns over the way the same-sex marriage issue has been handled

The government has been warned it faces a backlash from Tory grassroots supporters over proposals to allow same-sex marriages in church.

Lincolnshire MP Edward Leigh is one of the leading opponents of plans to allow religious institutions to hold 'gay marriage' ceremonies.

The Conservative MP for Gainsborough has accused the government of performing a U-turn - claiming the initial consultation on same-sex marriage applied only to civil ceremonies.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Leigh said: "The change of policy greatly increases the chance of human rights litigation to force churches to have same-sex marriages against their will.

"The state has no right to redefine people's marriages."

More than 100 Conservative MPs oppose legislation to allow same-sex marriage.

The Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, Alec Shelbrooke, also expressed his concerns.

Start Quote

What I find upsetting about this entire conversation is that if you vote against this you're homophobic”

End Quote Alec Shelbrooke MP Conservative

Speaking to the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Mr Shelbrooke said: "What I find upsetting about this entire conversation is that if you vote against this you're homophobic. I am not homophobic.

"I certainly believe that people should be able to have equal partnerships. This is a religious discussion for me and one which personally I feel has gone totally in the wrong direction."

The government says churches would be allowed to 'opt-in' to the new rules and no religious groups would be forced to carry out same-sex ceremonies.

The Church of England and Church in Wales would be excluded from any new law.

The Equalities Minister Maria Miller has said the government is committed to a "quadruple lock" package of safeguards to protect religious freedom.

That would include amending the 2010 Equality Act to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.

David Cameron has said he does not want gay people "excluded from a great institution".

A number of leading Conservatives are in favour of same-sex marriage, including Education Secretary Michael Gove and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

 
Tim Iredale Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 43.

    While not wishing to take sides, I did not expect to see homosexuality legalised in my lifetime, but it happened in a few short years. Like many convenient changes this may be argued as a move for civilisation.

    Now, what if we see a similar move towards paedophilia? It could be argued that this is as "natural" as homosexuality. Again without taking sides I present this for debate. Think about it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 42.

    Good to see that some Conservative MPs can still adhere to basic standards. There is no mandate for this Parliament to redefine marriage. I am happy for homosexuals -"gay" is an abuse of our language - to have civil partnerships but "marriage" is a big step too far. No doubt Cameron is promoting the issue to appease the Libs. We all know from the lessons of history that appeasement does not work.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 41.

    38
    I see it (marriage) as a legal contract between two adults, regardless of sex..."

    Why only two adults, why not three, or four?
    Surely if marriage can be redefined by sex, it can be redefined by numbers, too.
    My guess is that such a situation will come about in time.
    People can be persuaded to swallow anything, if it is fed to them in small enough pieces.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 40.

    Alan (20) categorises opponents to Gay Marriage as having a set of opinions on a number of issues. For myself I am against Gay Marriage, for Women Bishops, against Voting Rights for Prisoners, and for Continuation of Membership of the EU. Does that make me confused? I am also a member of an Anglican church, and have been a long-time member, though maybe not much longer, of the Lib-Dems.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 39.

    Totally agree with 34. mlenno the thought of two people loving each other and committing to a life together is absolutely abhorrent. Let's enact legislation that puts a stop to this dreadful behaviour.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 38.

    37. James. I am myself married, but I do not see marriage only as something between two people of opposite sex. I see it as it legal contract between two adults, regardless of sex, who agree to make that contract between them voluntarily. I also consider myself rather civilised.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 37.

    Laura BMS. No, of course not. You are being deliberately obtuse! You know what I mean about the raison d'etra for the civilisied world view of marriage. Simply put, marriage is between two people of opposite sex. The government in Scotland is even more confused as they do not wish to include adultery betweeen same sex couples as divorce reason. England's view on this?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 36.

    35. James. In other words, once a woman enters menopause and cannot have children, she should not be allowed to get married, not even to a man? Not very male-female couple getting married plans to have children.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 35.

    Lets all be honest with each other. Marriage is between a man and a women, for procreation. Same sex couples do have their "marriage" in the form of "Civil Ceremony." What on earth is the government playing at? They have no mandate for what they are attempting to push through; it was not in the Queen's speech; and the government policy is a fiasco.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 33.

    @22 Little-Old-Me

    ".. so their party members within their constituencies still hold dinosaursesque views....."

    So Little-Old-Me - You would have no objection to the government holding a referendum re Gay Marriage - is that so ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 32.

    @31 giovanna
    Your post labout practices eaves questions but not polite to pursue biology details further.

    But if you were married what would you and your partner regard one another as, and call one another with regard to the traditional marriage roles of Husband and Wife ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 31.

    30. MoneyObserver "@29 sorry giovanna-if you're in loving relationship good luck to you."

    Thanks. Coming up to 27 years.

    "but does highlight lesbian thought regards natural human vaginal penetration (no aids) as optional for full female sexual life"

    It may be optional but it is also entirely possible - no aids - no redundant parts. All people do what pleases them most - even you I would hope.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    @29 sorry giovanna-if you're in loving relationship good luck to you.
    But your assertion female body “perfectly designed” to achieve lesbian activity hard to discuss without becoming too personal- but does highlight lesbian thought regards natural human vaginal penetration (no aids) as optional for full female sexual life, thus implying evolution has provided women with a redundant part.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 29.

    28. MoneyObserver "Hardly the basis for changing the long standing definition of marriage"

    Are you suggesting that being in a loving and committed relationship prevents the participants from having fun? Quite the reverse!
    No one is changing any definitions - that is a red herring. All that is happening is that the option to marry is being extended to everyone and that can only be a good thing.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 28.

    @27 giovanna

    We seemed to have moved from "loving committed relationships" which is all that ever seems to be trotted out about homosexuality, to now having " a lot of fun", which is more open about it all.
    Hardly the basis for changing the long standing definition of marriage
    though.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 27.

    26. GNJC "My point was, homosexual procreation is a natural impossibility"

    But a lot of fun can be had atttempting it.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 26.

    I would say to the preceding two that nature has 'designed' nothing, things have evolved. The comment in re' injury is not wrong, yet the same 'practices' are carried out by hererosexuals (& lesbians with extras). Not to my taste, but my disgust does not extend wanting to restricting acts between consenting adults in private. My point was, homosexual procreation is a natural impossibility.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    24. MoneyObserver "What would you say to an observation that Nature has not exactly designed the human body for homosexual practices, which can in fact cause injury."

    I would respond to such an observation by stating that you know absolutely nothing about lesbian sex. The human female is perfectly designed for it - hard to imagine how it could be better designed - and it cannot cause any injury.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 24.

    @
    GNJC you say homosexuality is natural.
    What would you say to an observation that Nature has not exactly designed the human body for homosexual practices, which can in fact cause injury.

 

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