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Chancellor places same-sex 'marriage' at centre of Tories’ election bid

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George Osborne has urged  his party to adopt same-sex ‘marriage’ as Tory policy and to get in step with “people and how they want to live their lives” if they wish to continue in power.

The comments came as part of an analysis on why Barack Obama had won the US election in light of rising unemployment and surveys pointing to a general belief that Mitt Romney was more likely to manage the economy better.

Lost Votes

Mr Osborne claimed the Republicans had lost “swathes of voters” because of their traditionalist views on social issues.

He said the Republicans’ position on abortion had alienated women voters while Mr Obama’s gamble on publicly endorsing same-sex marriage appeared to have paid off.

Writing in The Times, Mr Osborne said: “President Obama’s high-profile endorsement of equal marriage for gay couples also enthused younger voters.

“But polls found that a majority of all Americans supported him on the issue and voted for it in all four states that held ballots.”

While many of Mr Osbourne’s colleagues including Heath Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, are backing a reduction in the abortion time limit, the Chancellor said that he did not support a change in the law on the issue.

Proud to Redefine Marriage

But he said he was “proud” to be part of a Government that planned to introduce a law to redefine marriage and claimed that a “clear majority” of the public backed a change.

However a survey last month revealed that three quarters of MPs received more letters and emails opposing the Coalition’s plans to extend civil marriage to homosexual couples than in favour.

By-Election Test

Meanwhile the Corby by-election is set to act as a test of Conservative support for same-sex marriage.

Voters are being asked to use the by-election as a referendum on government plans to redefine marriage.

It is believed Conservative insiders privately fear that support could go to UKIP or Tories may stay at home because of the same-sex marriage proposal.

Coalition For Marriage Campaign

Campaign group Coalition for Marriage have dropped 46,000 leaflets through voters’ doors arguing against the government’s stance.

Colin Hart, Campaign Director of C4M, said: “Yet again the government’s spin doctors are trying to claim that redefining marriage is a vote winner. Quite the opposite is true. In the US, voters in 31 states have backed traditional marriage at the ballot box, often by large margins and as recently as May 2012 in North Carolina.

“The four results by the narrowest of margins in liberal states last week are not representative of US public opinion.”

And Mr Hart highlighted a major poll by ComRes that found that redefining marriage could cost the Tories up to 30 parliamentary seats and 1.1 million votes.

He said: “The polls actually show that a majority of voters do not support the redefinition of marriage. And worryingly for Mr Cameron this includes a majority of those who elected him in his own constituency of Witney.

“Even amongst the gay community the policy is not popular with less than one in five (19 per cent) believing the PM is proposing this change for the right reasons. So the Prime Minister and the Chancellor must stop misleading the public.”

Sources:

The Telegraph

Scotsman.com

See also:

Government response on redefining marriage due before Christmas >

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