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MPs say David Cameron has ‘no mandate’ for gay marriage

MPs say David Cameron has ‘no mandate’ for gay marriage

Around 60 UK politicians have slammed the government’s plans to legalize gay marriage, claiming Prime Minister David Cameron has ‘no mandate to redefine marriage’.

Members of Parliament from all major political parties and peers from the Lords signed the open letter which was published in The Telegraph newspaper today (17 December).

‘At the last election, none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage,’ wrote the group of 58 MPs, which included 35 Conservatives.

‘It was not contained in any of their manifestos, nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government.

‘These facts alone should have led to extreme caution on the part of those calling for this change to be made.

‘Instead the government is ignoring the overwhelming public response against the plans.’

They added: ‘The consultation has ignored the views of 500,000 British residents in favour of anonymous submissions from anyone anywhere in the world.

‘We believe that the government does not have a mandate to redefine marriage.’

The issue of marriage equality has divided the Conservatives with as many as 118 Tory MPs out of 303 saying they will vote against the bill or are uneasy about the government proposals.

In the gay marriage proposal on Tuesday (11 December), Equalities Minister Maria Miller unveiled plans to support gay people marrying in religious buildings.

As part of the legislation, there will be a ‘quadruple lock’ to ensure no gay couple is able to sue a religious organization for refusing to hold a same-sex ceremony.

The Church of England and Wales are also banned from ‘opting in’ to the legislation, an action the Archbishop of Wales described as a ‘step too far’.

Support for gay marriage has grown in the last week, with 60% of Britons supporting the change since the proposal was announced – up from 43% two months ago.