David Cameron’s same-sex marriage Bill has cleared Parliament, but opponents say it will “come back to bite” him.
Critics say that the Government’s failure to properly protect the civil liberty of people who believe in traditional marriage will lead to cases of injustice.
The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) – which opposes the redefinition of marriage – said: “These cases will come back to bite the Prime Minister”.
C4M added, “the Coalition for Marriage will make sure everyone knows that he has brought it on himself”.
The Government was also criticised by Tory backbenchers for the undemocratic way the Bill was introduced, and then the way it was rushed through Parliament.
C4M has almost 700,000 supporters nationwide and has vowed to mobilise its huge support base to promote marriage in future elections.
Colin Hart, C4M’s campaign director, said: “Mr Cameron needs to remember that the Coalition for Marriage has nearly 700,000 supporters, nearly six times the number of members of the Conservative Party.
“They are just ordinary men and women, not part of the ruling elite. They are passionate, motivated and determined to fight on against a law that renders terms like husband and wife meaningless and threatens one of the foundations of the institution of marriage: fidelity and faithfulness.
“These concepts may not matter to the leaders of the three main political parties, who are drawn from a very narrow liberal political class, but they do matter to people up and down the country who believe that marriage is special, unique and the bedrock of stable families.”
In Parliament, former government minister Sir Gerald Howarth hit out at the way the Bill has been handled.
“I have to say that it is astonishing that a Bill for which there is absolutely no mandate, which a majority of Conservatives voted against, has been bulldozed through both Houses and just two hours of debate tonight is an absolute parliamentary disgrace”, he said.
“I think the Government should think very carefully in future if they want the support of these benches.
“Offending large swathes of the Conservative Party is not a good way of going about it.”
Equalities minister Maria Miller attempted to offer some reassurance. She said people should have “freedom to believe marriage should be of one man with one woman and not be marginalised”.
However, the Government refused to allow many of the civil liberty protections called for by the Bill’s opponents.
Dave Landrum of the Evangelical Alliance said: “Protections that are essential and would normally be expected in a situation like this were brushed aside in their haste to get this on the statute books, and in the hope it will fade as an issue before the next general election.
“Although the law has changed, real marriage is and will always be exclusively a lifelong union between a man and woman. We can acknowledge the fact the legal definition has changed but we should also understand that we do not need to approve of the legal fiction created.
“We also know that God is not fazed by this, and as Christians we should have confidence to speak and teach the truth with grace and love. And we should help each other sustain marriage as a covenant before God.”