David Cameron’s controversial plan to change the definition of marriage will spark a grassroots party revolt, a Conservative MEP has warned.
Giles Chichester, who represents the Tory Party in Europe, has written a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to reconsider his “bizarre attempt to redefine marriage”.
Mr Chichester supports civil partnerships but lists Mr Cameron’s plan to redefine marriage among a series of policies that are “attacking the traditionaly family”.
In his letter, Mr Chichester, the MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, said: “Why you have chosen to push the Stonewall militant gay agenda is a mystery to me because same sex marriage was not in your manifesto and so far as I can tell from friends in the gay community there is no majority within that minority in favour of trying to make same sex unions or partnerships the same as traditional marriage. Equal yes, same no.
“I support these civil unions or partnerships having equal rights to traditional marriage so far as property ownership, legal status, taxation and inheritance rights are concerned but cannot agree that being equal must mean being the same.”
He added: “I ask you to reconsider your position during this consultation period, take full notice of the points that I have made and apply the tests of common sense and reasonableness that are the safeguard of Conservatives.
“Should this measure go through it will cause many Conservatives to question their loyalty to a party which is no longer supporting values inherent to the party.”
The Westminster Government launched a consultation on its plans to redefine marriage earlier this month. However, critics branded the consultation as a “sham” which will ignore any opposition.
A petition supporting the current definition of marriage has attracted more than 340,000 signatures since it launched on the 20 February.