Churchgoers set to ditch Tories over gay marriage plans

Nearly 60 per cent of churchgoers say they are less likely to vote for the Conservatives at the next General Election because of the party’s bid to redefine marriage, according to a new poll.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats are also set to be abandoned by churchgoers at the ballot box over the issue, but the biggest impact is likely to be felt by the Conservatives.

The poll also found that 86 per cent of respondents believe attempts to exempt churches from carrying out homosexual weddings could not be relied upon.

Intolerant

According to the survey, 58 per cent said they were less likely to vote for the Tories at the next General Election, 43 per cent said they were put off the Lib Dems and 27 per cent said they would be less likely to back Labour because of the issue.

Over 60 per cent of respondents said the Prime Minister has shown himself to be “intolerant” in his reaction to opposition to his plans.

The poll found the strongest feeling about the issue was among Pentecostals, with 72 per cent saying they were less likely to vote for the Conservatives. Nearly 50 per cent of Anglicans said the same.

Undemocratic

The poll was carried out by ComRes for Coalition for Marriage (C4M) – a group which has seen nearly 600,000 people sign a petition calling for the definition of marriage to remain unchanged.

C4M campaign director Colin Hart said: “This is yet another blow for these ill-thought-out and undemocratic proposals.

“Churchgoers simply don’t believe the assurances from the Government that these changes will not be forced on churches.”

Concern

He added: “The high levels of concern reflect those in the wider population.

“This change is being pushed for by a tiny number of people. Only a minority of gay people believe that these plans are a priority.

“It also reveals high levels of scepticism amongst churchgoers, about Mr Cameron’s motives.”

Earlier this month homosexual celebrity Christopher Biggins said he thinks “civil partnerships are fantastic” but does not see the need for same-sex marriage.

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