Labour has urged the Government not “to drag its feet” over its controversial plans to redefine marriage.
The Westminster Government wants to introduce same-sex marriage by 2015 but the plans have encountered hostility from a variety of quarters.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper claims that David Cameron “was right to support same-sex marriage”.
She has said that faith groups who wish to perform same-sex marriages should be able to, and called for legislation to be brought forward this year.
Earlier this week secret Government emails revealed that schools could be forced to teach children about gay marriage if it becomes law.
The emails between officials at the Home Office and Department for Education came to light following a Freedom of Information request.
One official said the issue was a potential “minefield” and wanted “defensive lines to take” in case the press started asking questions.
Nearly 600,000 people have now signed a petition calling for marriage to remain the union of one man and one woman. It is being run by the Coalition for Marriage.
In May Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, became the first Cabinet Minister to openly oppose the plans. A number of other senior Conservatives, including the Secretary of Defence, have expressed reservations.