Defying Conservative MPs who want to drop the proposal to legalise gay marriage, Lynn Featherstone (UK equalities minister) has delcared “There will be no U-turn on equal marriage”.
The recent poor performance in local elections by the Conservative-Liberal Democrats Coalition Government has provided some of the less gay-friendly MPs with the excuse to call on their parties to abandon “fringe issues” such as the move towards equal marriage and focus on the economy instead.
Thankfully, Featherstone understands that altering priorities does not mean abandoning all other commitments, and is being quite vocal in reminding her contemporaries of this.
The post on her constituency website states:
In the aftermath of a tough set of election results for both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – I couldn’t help but notice a few naysayers popping up in the media and uttering dire warnings about a government that needs to concentrate on core issues rather than same sex civil marriage.
For goodness sake – it’s not either / or.
The economy is clearly the No 1 priority – but the Coalition can multi-task!
There will be no u-turn on equal marriage – we are committed as a government to legislate by 2015
Her comments are not expected to help the already prominnent tensions between the two coalition parties, but this sort of vocal attitude in defiance of certain Conservative MPs is probably exactly what the Liberal Democrats need in order to help rescue their crashing reputation amongst the UK public.
Featherstone launched a consultation on marriage reform earlier this year, and you are invited to leave and comments on her site.
While a significant number of Conservative MPs are objecting to the proposal, it is worth noting that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been vocal in supporting the change. Furthermore, The Daily Telegraph – a conservative-leaning newspaper – included an online poll in their report of this story and at the time of writing 78.8% of readers have voted in favour of legalising gay marriage.
See here for my previous article on the Coalition for Equal Marriage’s video campaign, and more information.
Photo Credits: All photos are from Stonewall UK. You can learn more about their campaign for equal marriage on their website.