Top Tory donor opposes redefinition of marriage

One of the Conservative party’s leading donors has signed the petition calling for the definition of marriage to remain unchanged.

Michael Farmer, who has been the Conservative party co-treasurer since March 2012, has given nearly £4 million to the Conservative Party in the past four years.

He is one of 550,000 people to have signed the Coalition for Marriage petition.

Pressure

The petition, which was handed to Downing Street on Tuesday, reads: “I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it.”

Mr Farmer oversees an investment company called RM Capital Management, and also preaches at a church in the centre of London, having undertaken a two-year Bible study course.

His decision to support the Coalition For Marriage will put more pressure on the Prime Minister as he seeks to move forward with the proposals to implement same-sex marriage.

Against

Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, opposes the proposals and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, argued that the Government should instead focus on “things that matter.”

A ComRes poll published last week found that only four in 10 homosexual people believe that same-sex marriage was a priority for their community.

The poll indicated that the homosexual community is largely indifferent about the issue, with only 27% of homosexual people questioned saying they would get married if given the right to do so.

The Government consultation on same-sex marriage closes on Thursday.

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