Miliband: ‘I commend Cameron on gay marriage’

Ed Miliband has said that he admires David Cameron’s controversial push to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Labour leader commended the Prime Minister for his commitment to gay marriage – which ignored the views of many within the Conservative Party.

Mr Miliband stated his support for same-sex marriage in 2012 and said “faith groups” should be able to carry out same-sex weddings if they want to.

Right thing to do

Speaking on a Channel 4 debate in the run up to the General Election, Ed Miliband was asked what he most admires about the Prime Minister.

He responded by saying that gay marriage is one of two things that Mr Cameron did right during his time in office.

Mr Miliband commented: “It was hard in his party, it was the right thing to do for his country”.

Repercussions

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act received Royal Assent in 2013, although more than half of Conservative MPs voted against it.

In July last year, local Tory chiefs warned David Cameron that his introduction of same-sex marriage has caused a decline in Tory membership ahead of the General Election.

Annual reports for some local associations showed an average drop of ten per cent across constituencies in 2013, at least 15 of which attributed the fall to gay marriage or unhappiness with national decisions.

Mass exodus

In Chippenham, a marginal seat, the Conservative association said that membership “continued to fall” in 2013, referring to the “ongoing mass exodus over issues such as gay marriage”.

In September 2012, Ed Miliband recorded a video in support of gay marriage, and said same-sex weddings should be allowed in churches.

In the video Mr Miliband said, “we will be pushing the Government to get on with the process of legislating for equal marriage, and we’ll also be saying to them, that where faith groups want to provide that opportunity for gay couples as well as straight couples, they should be able to do so”.

Campaign group the Coalition for Marriage accused the Labour Party of using the institution of marriage as a “political weapon”.

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