15:26 26 July 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to legalise gay marriage by 2015, urging the Church to not "lock out" homosexuals.
Referring to previous work by Labour ex-PM Tony Blair who helped introduce civil partnerships, Cameron was quoted as saying: "I am absolutely determined that this Coalition government will follow in that tradition by legislating for gay marriage in this Parliament."
Regarding the strength of marriage, the Prime Minister said: "It’s something I feel passionately about and I think if it’s good enough for straight people like me, it’s good enough for everybody and that’s why we should have gay marriage and we will."
Cameron cited a history of members of his political party being shut out because of their sexual orientation.
He stressed that the Church shouldn't "be locking out people who are gay, or are bisexual or are transgender from being full members of that Church, because many people with deeply held Christian views, are also gay"
Cameron continued: "And just as the Conservative Party, as an institution, made a mistake in locking people out so I think the Churches can be in danger of doing the same thing."
The news comes as ministers in Scotland promised this week to bring laws which would enable same-sex marriage into play by the start of 2015. Cameron wants these laws matched in England and Wales at the same time.
Countering this action, The Daily Mail quoted Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, saying: "The Prime Minister’s sneering remarks show his own intolerance of religious people who disagree with him on gay marriage.
"It is incredibly arrogant of him to tell churches what religious beliefs they should and shouldn’t hold. No wonder huge swathes of churchgoers are suspicious of his motives.
"Voters would rather he was working to boost the flagging economy, not meddling with marriage and lecturing the church.
"The plans to redefine marriage are unnecessary, unpopular, divisive, and a vote-loser. It is high time they were dumped."
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