David Cameron risks losing the votes of churchgoers by pressing ahead with controversial plans to redefine marriage, a new survey has revealed.
The poll, conducted by ComRes, has revealed that 83 per cent of churchgoers are opposed to Mr Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage.
And 57 per cent said that the Prime Minister’s commitment to rewriting the definition of marriage made them less likely to vote for the Conservatives.
In contrast, not one of the survey’s 544 respondents said that Mr Cameron’s support for the radical proposal made them more likely to vote for the party.
Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed were concerned that schools would be required to teach the equal validity of same-sex and heterosexual relationships.
Last month Mr Cameron caused a storm of controversy when he declared his support for redefining marriage, at his party’s annual conference. A public consultation on how to do this will begin next year.
The new survey also revealed that the vast majority of churchgoers have grave concerns about tampering with the definition of marriage.
More than 90 per cent of those surveyed were concerned that clergy would have to conduct same-sex marriages against their consciences.
Nearly eighty per cent feared it would be harder to argue against ‘other novel types of relationship’ such as polygamy.
And 85 per cent were concerned that the value of marriage would be further undermined.
Christian commentator Dr Peter Saunders remarked: “It has been suggested that David Cameron is supporting same-sex marriage and promoting the gay rights agenda because he believes that the Gay rights lobby in this country is stronger than the Christian lobby.
“I guess the jury is still out on that one.”
The survey was commissioned by Premier Christian Media Trust.
The Conservative Party released a statement to Premier, saying: “The Government is consulting on introducing civil marriage for same sex couples. There is no question of churches or any other religious institution being forced to host ceremonies for same-sex marriage or for civil partnerships.
“We believe society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. That is why we support gay marriage.”