David Cameron’s proposals on legalising same-sex marriage in Britain hit another obstacle yesterday – this time within his own party. The whole proposal is ‘completely nuts’, one MP told him yesterday. Peter Bone MP, speaking in the House of Commons, urged the Church of England to do everything it could to block the plans, and to insist on the norm that marriage had to be “between a man and a woman”.
Fellow Conservative MP, Tony Baldry, also speaking in the House said: “So far as the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and many other faith groups are concerned, marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Speaking on behalf of the Church of England he said that “detailed submissions” on the issue would be made to the government.
The Home Office, defending the Government proposal, said all couples should have the choice of marriage but it appears to be trying to have its cake and eat it at the same time since it continues to say that a consultation is under way on the matter. The spokesperson said that they were working closely with all those who have an interest in the area “to understand their views.” While on the one hand they say that a consultation is under way on proposals to allow civil partnership ceremonies to be held in a religious setting, the spokesperson also said “We are absolutely not changing religious marriage, or requiring religious groups to go against their traditions.
In the Commons Mr. Bone asked the question “Wouldn’t it just be very simple to write back and say: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman so this is completely nuts’?”
The London Independent, reporting on the story today, said that Government plans to legalise gay marriage are expected to be mentioned in the Queens Speech in May. However ministers will likely face opposition from a number of Conservative backbenchers.