British Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell says if you explain civil marriage to over 65s, they will support it
A British Conservative MP has said only pensioners are opposed to gay marriage, and even they will change their mind once it is explained properly.
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said the majority of every age group apart from the over-65s supported marriage equality.
In an interview with this week’s New Statesman magazine, Mitchell said: ‘I’m a supporter of gay marriage. If you look at the polling that’s been done, every cohort is in favor of gay marriage apart from the over-65s.
‘If you explain to the over-65s that it’s civil marriage – not inflicting a view on the church – there is a narrow majority in favor.’
The remarks from the Tory MP come after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said equal marriage was no longer a ‘matter of if’. It is expected same-sex marriage will be legalized by 2015.
In his Out4Marriage video, Clegg says: ‘I’ve always been very clear on this: love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too.
‘All couples should be able to make the same commitment to each other, regardless of who they love.’
He added: ‘And to those who are worried about some of the opposition to this move, or the tone of the debate? Let me just say whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, your freedom to love who you choose is a fundamental right in a liberal society – and you will always have our support.’
Other senior politicians to support same-sex marriages include Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May.
The UK government completed the 12-week public consultation on marriage equality last Thursday (14 June).
Polls over a number of years show the majority of British people support same-sex marriage with polling company Populus saying 65% is behind it and only 27% disagree.
After religious leaders mistakenly told the populace churches would be forced to carry out gay marriages, over 575,000 people signed the anti-gay Coalition for Marriage petition. This is compared to the 61,000 that have signed the Coalition for Equal Marriage.