X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

David Cameron backs gay marriages in church

7 December 2012

2:05 PM

7 December 2012

2:05 PM

This week marks seven years since David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative party, and he has celebrated the occasion by making an announcement that will certainly keep things lively among his MPs and grassroots. Joe Murphy reports in the Standard today that he will allow religious groups to host same-sex weddings in their places of worship.

The Prime Minister made clear this lunchtime that he would allow a free vote, appearing on the lunchtime news to say:

‘I’m a massive supporter of marriage and I don’t want gay people to be excluded from a great institution. But let me be absolutely 100% clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it. That is absolutely clear in the legislation. Also let me make clear, this is a free vote for Members of Parliament but personally I will be supporting it.’

[Alt-Text]


Labour has already said it will place a three-line whip on a vote to introduce civil marriage for same-sex couples, but a source I spoke to today said: ‘We simply have not made a decision yet.’ The party will wait for the PM to unveil details to MPs next week before deciding how to approach a vote allowing religious ceremonies as well.

The free vote for the Tories is essential if the PM is to avoid uproar in his party, especially as there are cabinet members and other senior ministers who oppose the plan. But as Peter Bone tells the Standard, the issue won’t just divide the party, it will ‘outrage millions of people and hugely damage the government in electoral terms’.

Tory MP Stewart Jackson tells me:

‘Surely this will be killed in the House of Lords. They have no mandate, and the government cannot use the Parliament Act as this wasn’t in the manifesto.’

Nick Clegg has been pushing for the legislation to be extended to religious institutions who choose it for some time. The reason Cameron has acquiesced is also partly because those drawing up the legislation warned they could not exclude religious institutions from the Bill. The big test for those Tories who are wavering is whether those locks that the PM is pushing for which will prevent organisations such as the Church of England – the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has already made clear that while he wants a respectful dialogue with gay marriage campaigners, he does oppose the plan – from being forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies against its will.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close