The Women’s Institute has refused to carry an advert promoting traditional marriage claiming that it may “offend” its members.
The Coalition for Marriage (C4M), a grassroots organisation which supports the current definition of marriage, had wanted to place an advert in the Women’s Institute (WI) Life magazine – which is sent to more than 210,000 WI members.
C4M called the rejection a “surprising and unnecessary decision” and said: “Most ordinary members will see this as an over-reaction.”
In an email to C4M Helen Evans, the advertising manager for the WI’s magazine, said: “We are a national campaigning charity and your campaign doesn’t fit with any of our resolutions first and foremost.”
She said any promotion of the pro-marriage group could be seen as “an endorsement” to members.
The manager added: “We do also welcome all women to the WI and this campaign could offend many of our members.”
C4M is running an online petition supporting the current definition of marriage and opposing any attempt to redefine it.
So far nearly 230,000 people have signed it, including MPs, Peers and bishops. It can be signed at www.c4m.org.uk.
Last week The Sun newspaper said redefining marriage is a “very big issue” for society and should be put to a public vote.