David Cameron faces ‘biggest Tory rebellion in modern times’ over gay ‘marriage’ plans
LONDON, November 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With nearly 120 MPs ready to rebel against David Cameron’s plans to create same-sex “marriage,” a project that appeared in no Tory policy book during the last election campaign, the UK prime minister is facing a crucial test of his leadership of the Conservative Party.
The Daily mail revealed this week that 118 Tory MPs have written to their constituents that they intend to oppose any bill brought forward to change the legal definition of marriage, a development that the Daily Mail is calling the “biggest Tory rebellion in modern times”. Parliamentary sources have said that a bill could be released “within a few weeks”.
Since the announcement of the plan to redefine marriage in September 2011, the plan has met with steadily increasing opposition not only from conservative Christian groups, but from within Cameron’s own party. The government angered voters when its public consultation only allowed discussion on “how” to legalize same-sex “marriage,” rather than whether same-sex “marriage” should be implemented in the first place. Since this gaffe, confidence in Cameron’s leadership on domestic social and foreign affairs issues has been eroding, with the party hemorrhaging members and MPs growing increasingly restive over concerns about the plan’s impact on Tory chances in the next election.
Earlier this month, Chancellor and long-time friend of Cameron’s, George Osborne, announced his support for marriage redefinition in a letter to The Times, saying it will be a vote-winner for the Conservatives. However, polls continue to show that the policy’s unpopularity is driving a call for referendum. The Daily Telegraph warned Osborne he was playing a “dangerous game” by picking a “needless fight with social conservatives”. The Daily Express said, “Mr. Osborne appears to believe that being ‘socially liberal’ is the key to electoral success.
“In fact, most voters believe fixing the economy and dealing with bread and butter issues about living standards are by far the most important tasks facing the Government.”
The most recent poll has shown that most Britons – 65 percent – believe that Cameron’s drive to redefine marriage comes not from any concern with “equality” but is simply a ploy to “rebrand” the Conservative party as “trendy and modern”. Sixty-two percent of 2000 adults surveyed say they want the definition of marriage to remain unchanged. Only 23 percent thought George Osborne was correct when he said the change would help the party win the next election.
The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) has said that Cameron’s inner circle is in a state of “panic” over the growing opposition.
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A ComRes poll, commissioned by C4M, shows that 34 percent of MPs cited gay marriage as one of the main concerns raised with them by voters, ahead of welfare reform (23 per cent), NHS reform (19 per cent), pensions (13 per cent), fuel prices (13 per cent), unemployment and jobs (8 per cent) and the Budget (8 per cent).
Three in four constituents writing to MPs either “opposed” the measure (19 percent) or “strongly opposed” (55 per cent) it, according to MPs’ assessments. Only 16 percent supported the plan. These results were confirmed by MPs from all three main parties - Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats - irrespective of their party’s support.
Cameron was publicly corrected by the head of ComRes after he wrote a letter to Tory MP Cheryl Gillan, claiming that all the polls show the public favor “gay marriage” and that the policy will win votes for the party. ComRes Chief Executive Andrew Hawkins sent a letter to Cameron saying this is “simply not the case.” The numbers clearly show “the party loses more votes than it gains as a result of the policy, and that former Conservative voters are especially less likely to return to the fold,” according to Hawkins.
Even Tim Montgomerie, the editor of the party’s aggregate website Conservative Home and a supporter of the homosexualist movement’s political agenda, has warned Cameron that with gay “marriage” he is on the “right side of history” but decidedly on the wrong side of his party’s core supporters. Conservative Home ran a poll of 1,419 Tory members who were asked to rate 23 ideas for the party’s priorities. Dropping gay “marriage” came seventh, above revamping the National Health Service.
Anger over this and issues surrounding EU expenditures is also costing Cameron sitting MPs. The Daily Telegraph revealed this week that 8 more Conservative MPs are currently in secret talks with the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) to discuss possible defection to the up-and-coming Euro-skeptic party. The names of the MPs have not been revealed, but UKIP treasurer Stuart Wheeler told the Telegraph, “I have had lunch secretly, in a completely confidential way, with eight different Tory MPs.”
Meanwhile, the government’s assurances that gay “marriage” will not be forced on religious groups against their consciences are increasingly coming under scrutiny. Simon Reevell, the Tory MP for Dewsbury, wrote on Conservative Home that any wording in proposed legislation would likely quickly be thrown out by litigation as homosexualist activists work in the courts to force compliance.
“In other words,” Reevell said, “Parliament will legislate to end what it has identified as discrimination - same sex couples not being able to marry - but, within that anti-discrimination legislation, Parliament will preserve the right of some people (religious organisations) to behave in a manner that has been identified as discriminatory.
“If the local authority refuses to conduct a same sex marriage, it will be acting as unlawfully as the B&B owner who will not allow a same sex couple to share the same room. If the local priest refuses to conduct a same sex service, his position will be protected by the exemption. It’s just that sooner or later it won’t be.”