It is “very foolish to muck about” with marriage, a Tory MP has said, in a letter criticising the Government’s plans to redefine the institution.
Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, has written a letter to a local paper highlighting the unprecedented amount of correspondence he has had on the issue.
He said: “No subject has ever been the cause of greater concern to those in Gainsborough who write to me than that of the Coalition’s plan to introduce legislation to redefine civil marriage to include same-sex couples.”
David Cameron is committed to push ahead with legalising gay marriage by 2015.
But Mr Leigh said he is hopeful the Government will “see sense regarding its plans, and the current wise compromise we enjoy regarding marriage and civil partnerships will be maintained”.
He emphasised the point that those in civil partnerships have all the legal benefits of marriage, which is an “exclusive state” between a man and a woman, that has “stood the test of time”.
A recent poll revealed that most voters who write to MPs about the plans to redefine marriage are opposed to the measure.
Three quarters of MPs (74 per cent) said the balance of correspondence about gay marriage was “negative” and almost half (47 per cent) was “strongly negative”.
More than 610,000 people, including a number of MPs, have signed the Coalition for Marriage petition calling for the same-sex marriage proposals to be scrapped.