Minister U-turns on marriage after pressure from gay group

Thu, 14 May 2015

The new Government Minister for Equalities now says she supports same-sex marriage, despite voting against the redefinition in 2013.

Caroline Dinenage immediately came under pressure to change her views on the issue following David Cameron’s announcement of her appointment yesterday.

Today, writing on her personal Twitter account, she said: “I want to be clear – I support equal marriage”.

Opposition

Yesterday CEO of PinkNews Benjamin Cohen said he hoped Dinenage – like Education Secretary Nicky Morgan – “will now announce that she has changed her mind and recognise the value of marriage equality in England and Wales”.

Morgan changed her mind on the issue last year, saying she “probably would” vote in favour of redefining marriage if she was asked to again. She said that before she voted she received “requests of 10-to-1” asking her to oppose same-sex marriage.

Before voting against redefining marriage, Dinenage told a PinkNews reader that “the institution of marriage is distinctive and the State has no right to redefine its meaning”.

She also said that “these proposals were not included in any of the three main manifestoes nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government”.

Stonewall

Following Cohen’s comments Dinenage affirmed “LGBT equality” and said there is “no room for complacency” on the issue.

She told PinkNews yesterday: “I know that some of your readers will be concerned about my voting record on same sex marriage however, I want to be clear – I am fully committed to advancing the cause of LGBT equality and support the law on same sex marriage.”

“I’ll be meeting with LGBT organisations such as Stonewall as soon as possible to discuss this Government’s priorities for this parliament”, she added.

Referendum

On Twitter she thanked those who had sent messages of support following her appointment, and added: “To all the others I want to be clear – I support equal marriage & I’m fully committed to advancing the cause of LGBT equality moving forward”.

Dinenage, the MP for Gosport, has also been made a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice.