UK equalities minister Maria Miller has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to legalizing gay marriage, despite facing a rebellion from Tory traditionalists.
The newly appointed Culture Secretary, who is also Minister for Women and Equality, was booed after telling Conservative members at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham yesterday (11 October) that she still backed equal marriage.
‘Five years ago I stood here and told you that I believed in marriage, and nothing’s changed,’ she said, reported the Press Association.
‘I still believe in marriage – it’s part of the bedrock of our society.
‘The state should not stop two people from making the commitment to be married unless there’s a good reason.
‘I don’t believe being gay is one of them.’
The issue of gay marriage has proved a divisive issue with right-wing Tories.
A rally held in Birmingham earlier this week called for the government to drop its promise of same-sex marriage, with former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey claiming it would turn Britain into Nazi Germany.
Miller was appointed to the cabinet during Prime Minister David Cameron’s reshuffle in September.
However, the Conservative Member of Parliament has previously sparked concern after it emerged she voted against adoption for gay couples, fertility treatment for lesbians, and has said she is in favor of defining homophobia as freedom of speech.
In May, Miller did urge Cameron not to drop his support for same-sex marriage after right-wing Conservatives urged him to ditch the measure.