David Cameron’s plans for same-sex marriage are ill-considered and will not win him the next election, a former Chairman of the Conservative Party has said.
Lord Tebbit, a former Cabinet minister, raised several concerns about the redefinition of marriage, such as the words “husband” and “wife” being scrapped, whether marriage will be confined to two people and the law on consummation.
Last week the Government launched its three-month consultation on homosexual marriage, which has been branded a sham by a pro-marriage group.
Lord Tebbit said: “Within the can of worms that Mr Cameron is determined to open there are several nests of snakes.
“Why should a marriage be confined to just two persons?”
He added: “I doubt if Mr Cameron’s new-found enthusiasm for ‘gay marriage’ will make it any more likely that he will lead the Conservative Party to a majority in 2015 or add greatly to the sum total of happiness and contentment in our society.”
The former Chairman of the Conservative Party pointed to the wider implications of redefining marriage, and whether Government ministers had fully thought through the process.
Lord Tebbit pointed out that adultery would need to be redefined as a ground for divorce, and asked, “what will amount to the consummation of a marriage?”
Speaking about David Cameron, he said: “Conservatives do not turn over long-standing (several thousands of years across widely different cultures all over the world, in this case) with so little thought.
“He did not mention it when he set out his stall in the Conservative Party leadership election not long ago.”
Coalition for Marriage, a grassroots campaign group supporting the traditional definition of marriage, criticised the Government’s consultation as a “sham”.
Director Colin Hart said: “It is being pushed through despite the public never having a say on this change.
“None of the main political parties proposed redefining marriage in their manifestos”.
The group launched a petition last month, and within a month received over 250,000 signatures against any redefinition of marriage. Sign it here: www.c4m.org.uk