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Backbench rebellion over plans to introduce homosexual marriage

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Conservative MPs are planning what could be the biggest ever backbench rebellion faced by Prime Minister David Cameron over his stated intention to legislate for full homosexual marriage.

At least 100 Conservative backbenchers are thought to strongly oppose homosexual marriage."Feelings are running high," one senior party source told the Independent yesterday.

Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister, has announced plans for a ‘consultation’ to be launched next March which is to be followed by a change in the law.

David Burrowes MP told the paper that he is "cautiously optimistic" the proposal will be defeated in the Commons because it would "fracture" the institution of marriage.

“Many colleagues are worried that it would fundamentally affect how marriage between a man and woman has historically been viewed in this country. There are strong doubts that we need to go down this path. It would open up a can of worms and a legal minefield about freedom, religion and equalities legislation.”

Mr Burrowes claimed that there is strong opposition to homosexual marriage across the Conservative Party spectrum.

Religious Freedom

Some critics of the proposed plans are concerned that religious liberties would be at further risk should homosexual marriage be introduced. Should they be allowed to be conducted in churches, then pastors and vicars could become one step closer to being sued under equality legislation if they did not approve of and conduct homosexual marriages in their places of worship.

Expressing a view on homosexuality and sexual ethics could also become even more dangerous. Tory candidate Philip Lardner was sacked for stating on his website that he believed homosexual acts were ‘not normal behaviour’; and Tory MP Chris Grayling’s comments about Christian bed and breakfast owners being justified in denying double beds to same-sex couples staying in their homes almost certainly cost him a cabinet post.

A number of Christians have recently been punished, demoted or even lost their jobs for not wanting to compromise their Christian views on homosexuality including Dr Sheila Matthews, Gary McFarlane, Lillian Ladele, Lesley Pilkington, Andrew McClintock and Theresa Davies.


The Prime Minister’s plans do not appear to be favoured by Christians. A recent poll by ComRes found that 83% of church-going Christians in the UK are opposed to the plans to legalise homosexual marriage, and 57% of all respondents are ‘less likely to vote’ for the party because of this move.

The poll results are likely to be viewed as very concerning by the Conservative Party, as church-going Christians represent several million votes. Not one single respondent claimed that this move would make them more disposed to vote Conservative.

The poll, commissioned by Premier Christian Media, found that:

  • 83% were opposed to homosexual marriage, with 75% ‘strongly opposed’;
  • 93% were concerned that clergy would have to conduct homosexual marriages against their consciences;
  • 85% that the value of marriage would be further undermined;
  • 88% that schools would be required to teach the equal validity of same-sex and heterosexual relationships; and
  • 78% that it would be harder to argue against ‘other novel types of relationship’ such as polygamy.


Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:

“Marriage, a gift from God, is between a man and a woman with a view to raising children in the best possible environment, with the complementary roles of a mother and a father. A homosexual partnership cannot offer this. Calling it ‘marriage’ will not change this.

“This proposed move would radically re-define marriage with profound consequences for our society.

“Some may think the move is ‘tolerant’, yet if introduced it will likely result in massive intolerance towards anyone who does not ‘toe the line’. Anyone in the public sphere who does not facilitate or promote homosexual marriage is likely to be punished and lose their job. Freedom of conscience will once again be at the mercy of political correctness.”


The Independent

Daily Mail


ComRes Poll Results

Christian Concern: Sexual Orientation

Christian Concern: Christian demoted for expressing views on marriage