The Home Secretary has released a video in support of controversial plans to redefine marriage, despite the fact that a Government consultation on the issue is still under way.
In the video Theresa May, the minister responsible for the consultation, says she personally supports same-sex marriage.
However, her position puts her at odds with a number of other senior Tories who have expressed reservations.
Yesterday it was revealed that all Conservative MPs – including ministers – would be granted a free vote on the issue.
And earlier in the week it emerged that Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, had become the first Cabinet Minister to openly oppose the controversial plans.
He said: “Having considered this matter carefully, I am afraid that I have come to the decision not to support gay marriage.”
Philip Hammond, the Secretary of Defence, has said that the Government should “focus on the things that matter”.
Tim Loughton, the parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has said that marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman.
And earlier this month Gerald Howarth, a junior Defence Minister, said the Conservatives’ poor performance at the local elections was partly down to its bid to redefine marriage.
The Home Secretary recorded the video for Out4Marriage, a group campaigning to scrap the traditional definition of marriage.
In the video she said: “Marriage binds us together, it brings stability, I think marriage makes us stronger. But I believe also in commitment and in fidelity in marriage, I think these are good things and we should enable them to flourish.
“That’s why I believe if two people care for each other, if they love each other, if they want to commit to each other and spend the rest of their lives together then they should be able to get married”.
A petition in support of the current definition of marriage has already been signed by more than half a million people. It is being run by the Coalition for Marriage.
The Government’s consultation on redefining marriage closes on 14 June.