The Prime Minister has admitted that the country is divided on gay marriage, and has also faced a rebellion in his own party over the controversial plans.
David Cameron said in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he will stop focussing on policies such as same-sex marriage and concentrate on “big picture” issues.
On Tuesday, almost half of Tory MPs (133) voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, including two cabinet ministers.
Mr Cameron said: “On the gay marriage issue, this is an issue clearly that divides the country. It certainly divides the Conservative Party.”
“But I think it is right for Britain, like other countries, to take on this issue and to determine the right approach and that’s exactly what I’ve done and I’m proud of the fact that this legislation has now passed the House of Commons.”
He also said the Government would not be concentrating on issues such as gay marriage.
Mr Cameron said, “if you’re saying to me, ‘Is the first now of many other issues like that?’ No it isn’t. The Government now is going to be absolutely focused on the big picture, which is fixing our economy, reforming welfare, making sure there are good schools for our children to go to”.
But he said he was “proud” of the fact that gay schoolchildren may be standing “that bit taller” because the Bill was passed at third reading.
Senior Tory MP Dr Liam Fox said the Prime Minister’s plans to redefine marriage were “divisive” and “ill thought through” earlier this year.
And in January, The Sunday Times reported that backbench Conservative MPs say gay marriage may be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.