British Youth Parliament rejects campaigning for gay marriage

The British Youth Parliament has rejected campaigning for same-sex marriage, after it came bottom in a vote of priorities for 2013.

The issue received just 22 votes, whereas the most popular campaign, a curriculum to prepare young people for real life, got 154 votes.

Each year, 11 to 18-year-olds from each part of the UK debate priorities for the coming year in a special session in the House of Commons.


George Poole, an 18-year-old openly homosexual MYP (Member of the Youth Parliament) for Cornwall, said that whilst same-sex marriage is an issue “close to home” for him, he needed to “think of the young people who won’t benefit from this policy”.

And Jack Lewis, a 15-year-old MYP for Richmond-Upon-Thames, said there are more important issues to be campaigning about, such as youth unemployment.

Many have argued that the Government is prioritising same-sex marriage when issues such as the economy are more pressing.


Recently, the chancellor George Osborne came under fire for his comments in a piece for The Times, in which he claimed redefining marriage is a vote-winner for the Conservatives.

A Daily Express editorial pointed out that actually “most voters believe fixing the economy and dealing with bread and butter issues about living standards are by far the most important tasks facing the Government”.

In a Sunday Telegraph poll, the majority of people said the Coalition should be focusing on the economy and public service reforms instead of redefining marriage.

And Tory MP David Mowat, who supports gay marriage, said David Cameron should shelve the plans because “jobs, growth and the economy” are more important.