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Liberal Democrats and Conservatives agree gay marriage not in Queen’s Speech

UK coalition government dismisses yesterday's reports, but say gay marriage is not 'a priority' for the government
Lynne Featherstone, the MP who first backed gay marriage, has said it is not the 'number one priority'.

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have agreed gay marriage will not appear in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday (9 May).

The coalition government have also dismissed yesterday’s (8 May) reports about delaying gay marriage legislation, but have admitted it is not ‘a priority’.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, the MP who instigated the marriage equality initiative, has said gay marriage will not appear in the Queen’s Speech. The Queen’s Speech, read by Elizabeth II, announces the coming legislation in government.

Featherstone said: ‘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!’

It was reported in the Sunday Times that a Number 10 source had quoted David Cameron saying it was ‘not the time’ to push for gay marriage after poor election results on Thursday (3 May).

It was also reported that Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, was scheduled to hold talks with Cameron. It was said Brady was due to advise Cameron to scrap gay marriage legislation plans.

Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne denied the allegations on BBC’s The Andrew Marr show, saying although gay marriage is not ‘a priority’, the coalition government is taking time to listen to people's views.

Liberal Democrat spokesman James Holt told Gay Star News: ‘Someone, clearly, tried to play a bit of a game and say we’re trying to delay this. There’s nothing changed whatsoever from the process at all.

‘It’s just that it was never planned to be in the Queen’s Speech. The simplest thing is the legislation isn’t ready yet.’

The UK government launched a 12-week public consultation on gay marriage on 15 March.

Holt added: ‘Now the plan is, and always has been, that the equal marriage legislation will come in during the third session of parliament.

‘The government has given a commitment to make sure it is legislated for 2015. That’s what they’ve said publically. That is the plan and they’ve remained committed to the plan.’ 

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