Wales politics

Welsh Secretary among Tory opponents of gay marriage

It may not be his media outlet of choice but David TC Davies is now making a splash on Pink News.

His suggestion that gay marriage in church is "barking mad" and that most parents would prefer their children not to be gay has also sparked a bit of a debate on twitter.

The latter suggestion was prefixed with the prescient "I hate to say this in a way because I expect it's going to cause controversy" and now he has taken to twitter to defend himself.

The Monmouth Tory MP tweeted: "Activists condemning me now for things I did not say! Why don't you all read the quotes carefully before rushing to the keyboards...

"E.g. - I did NOT say "parents don't want gay children" so why are people saying I did? Perhaps because they wouldn't win argument with actual quote."

And if you thought his views were motivated by prejudice? "Once fought gay boxer. Respect & like. trained with after bout so not bigoted. Activists calm down- listen to other views."

Mr Davies won't be the only Conservative MP opposing the introduction of gay marriage in England and Wales. The Daily Mail compiled a list of 118 Tories it expects to oppose the government's plans.

That list includes seven of the eight Welsh Conservative MPs - Simon Hart is the missing name.

Tory MPs will be offered a free vote - rather than being instructed to support the government. Several prominent Conservatives have launched their own campaign group in favour of same-sex marriage.

But among those taking advantage of the chance to vote according to conscience will be the Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones.

He has previously written to a constituent: "I believe marriage is an institution ordained to sanctify a union between a man and a woman. If a vote is called, I shall vote in accordance with my beliefs."

I'm told that remains his view. His deputy, Stephen Crabb, is also against and is understood to be concerned about the ability of legislation to protect places of worship from a legal challenge if they refuse to carry out ceremonies.

The Welsh duo are unlikely to be the only ministers unhappy with the proposals when they are unveiled.