A Conservative member of parliament has said as a ‘god-fearing woman’ she backs marriage equality in England and Wales.
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone in Kent, said religious people should believe in justice and fairness.
Speaking ahead of the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill debate on 5 February to political magazine The House, Grant said her faith is important to what she believes in politics.
‘I am a God-fearing woman,’ she said. ‘My faith is very fundamental to everything I do and think.
‘I am a member of the Church of England, a Christian, and my faith is very, very important to me.’
The Tory under-secretary for justice and equalities added: ‘I think [same-sex marriage] is absolutely consistent with my beliefs.
‘For me, as a Christian, I see it as about justice, equality, fairness, ending discrimination and opening up marriage to more people on the basis that marriage is a very special institution.’
Grant, the Conservatives’ first black minister, dismissed the argument the Tories had not included same-sex marriage in the general election manifesto.
She said the proposal was in a ‘contract for equalities’ published at the same time as the manifesto in 2010, and was ‘quite clear what our intentions’ could have been.
Christians who support same-sex marriage will be holding a prayer on Sunday (3 February), before the free vote.
It is believed two-thirds of Conservative MPs will not back the bill, but Grant says they will not be damaging the part’s image.
However opposition Labour leader Ed Milliband said the gay marriage vote would show the ‘nasty party’ is back.