British Prime Minister David Cameron is determined to push through plans to legalize gay marriage, despite mounting pressure from right-wing traditionalists and religious groups.
Cameron has told ministers that he wants to pass an equal marriage bill as soon as possible.
The Conservative Party leader is reportedly sticking to his guns despite facing a rebellion from within his own party because he believes it is a ‘straightforward matter of equality’, a Downing Street source told The Independent.
Yesterday (8 October), former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, and long time opponent of LGBT rights, Ann Widdecombe, led a rally in Birmingham to voice their opposition to gay marriage.
Addressing the audience of 1,000 traditionalists at the event, which was timed to coincide with the Tory conference being held in the Midlands city until tomorrow (10 October), Lord Carey warned that Britain could become like Nazi Germany if gay marriage becomes legal in the country.
However, Cameron is said to have been bouyed by the support shown from Tory chairmen during a private meeting at the conference.
The PM has tried to appease right-wingers by giving Conservative Members of Parliament a free vote on whether to support proposed plans on legalizing gay marriage, meaning ministers are allowed to vote as they wish rather than according to an official line set down by their political party.
But any rebellion from Conservative voters on the issue is unlikely to stop the legislation from being passed as it has widespread support from Labour and Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament.
The UK government’s consultation on legalizing gay marriage in England and Wales ended on 14 June.
Scotland has already confirmed it will an equal marriage bill after a similar consultation found a majority of support for the legislation.