King of de Jungle
- Mar 17, 2005
Interesting how this has become one of the defining issues of politics this year.The Government is unveiling its plans to allow same-sex marriage in Church despite bitter opposition from some Tory MPs.
The measures will clear the way for civil marriages in places of worship as early as 2014, although venues will not be forced to comply.
Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller is outlining the proposals in the Commons.
Her statement comes after a Tory MP warned that pushing ahead with legislation would be a "disaster" for the Conservative Party.
MP Stewart Jackson on gay marriage legislation Stewart Jackson opposes legislation
Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough, told Sky News: "I believe this is a mistake. It's a very divisive issue and an unnecessary piece of legislation.
"It is fundamentally an un-Conservative policy and if (Prime Minister David Cameron) presses ahead with this it will be a disaster for the party and the country."
When the vote happens next year, MPs are likely to be allowed to decide according to their conscience rather than follow the party line.
Mr Cameron has promised a change in the law in England and Wales by the next election in May 2015 at the latest.
The news has been widely welcomed by the gay community with one leading vicar hailing it as a "breakthrough".
Reverend Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said: "It has been a real roller coaster of emotions, but this is brilliant news.
"We are all God's children and he loves us all equally. So why shouldn't I be able to marry the person I love in church?"
She added: "It takes a good year to plan a good wedding, so we'd better get planning."
However, Mr Cameron is facing fierce criticism from some Tory MPs over the legislation and he has promised there will be a free vote.
As many as 130 backbenchers are expected to oppose him when the measures are before the Commons.