By Gerald Heneghan
Senior members of the Conservative Party have urged their colleagues to back a bill that would allow same-sex marriage.
In an open letter to the Telegraph, chancellor George Osborne, foreign secretary William Hague and home secretary Theresa May claimed that passing the legislation would actively benefit the institution.
“Marriage has evolved over time. We believe that opening it up to same-sex couples will strengthen, not weaken, the institution,” said the letter.
The MPs went on to quote David Cameron’s point that the party should support gay marriage because they are Conservatives, rather than in spite of this fact.
“A substantial majority of the public now favour allowing same-sex couples to marry, and support has increased rapidly. This is the right thing to do at the right time,” they said.
The issue of religious freedom was also addressed, with the authors claiming that the bill would ensure no faith groups are forced to conduct same sex marriages, while those that wish to will no longer be forbidden.
“Attitudes towards gay people have changed. A substantial majority of the public now favour allowing same-sex couples to marry, and support has increased rapidly,” the MPs said.
A vote is scheduled to take place in the House of Commons today (February 5th), on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which would enable same-sex couples to be wed in both religious and civil ceremonies in England and Wales.
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