Cam backs same-sex marriage in church
David Cameron will risk a rift with the Tory grassroots next week when he backs allowing churches and other places of worship to perform same-sex marriages.
But the Prime Minister said he was "absolutely clear" that religious organisations who oppose same-sex marriage, including the Catholic church, will have legal protection meaning they will not be compelled to host ceremonies.
"Let me be absolutely, 100% clear - if there is any church, or any synagogue, or any mosque that does not want to have gay marriage it absolutely should not be forced to hold it, that is absolutely clear in the legislation and also let me make clear this is a free vote for the members of Parliament but personally I will be supporting it," he said this afternoon.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg welcomed the move, but stressed that churches and other places of religious worship would not be forced to allow gay marriage.
Tory MP Stewart Jackson tweeted
that the bill would be "massacred" in the House of Lords and warned that the Government would not be able to use the Parliament Act because the pledge wasn't in the manifesto.
Another Tory MP, Bob Blackman, predicted "outrage throughout the country" following the move, insisting: "For the majority of our supporters out in the country, marriage is between one man and one woman."