Following Stephen Tall’s analysis of the support for equal marriage among Liberal Democrat MPs, it is worth noting the views held by some senior Conservatives.
George Osborne, William Hague and Theresa May have jointly written a letter to the Telegraph:
SIR – Today the Commons will vote on the Bill to allow same-sex marriage.
Civil partnerships for gay couples were a great step forward, but the question now is whether it is any longer acceptable to exclude people from marriage simply because they love someone of the same sex.
Marriage has evolved over time. We believe that opening it up to same-sex couples will strengthen, not weaken, the institution. As David Cameron has said, we should support gay marriage not in spite of being Conservatives, but because we are Conservatives.
Our party also has a strong belief in religious freedom, a vital element of a free society. The Bill ensures that no faith group will be forced to conduct same-sex marriages. The legal advice is clear that these protections for religious groups cannot be overturned by the courts.
Religious freedom works both ways. Why should faith groups, such as the Quakers, that wish to conduct gay marriages be forbidden from doing so? This Bill will enhance religious freedom, not restrict it.
Attitudes towards gay people have changed. A substantial majority of the public now favour allowing same-sex couples to marry, and support has increased rapidly. This is the right thing to do at the right time. We will be among the Conservative MPs voting for this Bill today.
Note: In the middle of this letter there is a link to ‘Related Article’: Derelict churchyards are a grave waste of space
* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.