Correspondence opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ far outweighs correspondence in support, say MPs
A new poll shows that the majority of messages received by MPs on the issue of same-sex ‘marriage’ are opposed to its introduction.
The poll also shows that most MPs support a free vote on the issue in the House of Commons, even though both Labour and the Lib Dems intend to impose a party whip when it is debated.
The Government closed its consultation on redefining marriage earlier this year, saying that it would consider the points raised by respondents “not the number of responses received”.
However, just a quarter of the MPs polled agreed that the Government should go ahead with the plans “irrespective” of the extent of opposition.
154 MPs were polled by ComRes on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage.
74 per cent said that most of the correspondence they received on the issue was negative, with nearly half (47 per cent) saying it was “strongly negative”.
Amongst Tory MPs, 81 per cent said that the majority of correspondence was negative. Lib Dems reported similar figures but for Labour MPs the figure was 64 per cent.
8 out of 10 MPs are also in favour of a free vote on the redefinition of marriage when the proposals are debated. 94 per cent of Conservative MPs, 72 per cent of Labour MPs and 54 per cent of Lib Dems are in favour.
Both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have indicated that they would impose a party whip on any vote. This could mean that those Lib Dem and Labour MPs who oppose the redefinition of marriage could face disciplinary action from their respective parties.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, commented:
“A large proportion of the British public do not want marriage to be redefined. Now we know that a large proportion of MPs across the parties want a conscience vote on the issue. And yet the Government still appears to be intent on bulldozing its way through to imposing legislation.
“This is not what a healthy democracy looks like. The Government must listen to what the public and MPs are saying. The issue is far too important to simply ignore their opinions”.