David Cameron is struggling to win over a majority of his own MPs to support the redefinition of marriage, The Times reports today.
The Bill to change the meaning of marriage has now been published, and MPs will get their first chance to vote on Tuesday 5 February.
But the Prime Minister may have to rely on the votes of his political opponents to get the measure passed in the Commons.
Tory MPs are saying that gay marriage is the most toxic issue for ordinary party members.
Voters opposed to the policy are deluging MPs with letters and threatening to vote UKIP at the next election.
One Government minister told The Times: “I don’t believe in it anyway, but if I did I would still be mad to vote for it given the mood on the ground.”
Also today, The Daily Telegraph reports that the Government may be powerless to stop teachers getting fired if they refuse to endorse gay marriage.
The paper quotes a senior source close to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, saying there is “inherent uncertainty” about the legal implications.
The source says this is because the issues are under the control of judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.