Cameron’s push for gay marriage is “pure politics”, says former Labour Cabinet Minister

Apr 3, 2012

David Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage have been branded “pure politics” by former Labour Minister Ben Bradshaw.

Mr Bradshaw, who became one of Britain’s first openly gay members of Parliament in 1997, said: “Of course, we’ll support it, but this is pure politics on their part. This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights” with civil partnerships.

Interviewed in The Washington Post Mr Bradshaw added that the gay community “never needed the word ‘marriage’”.

The comments come as a grassroots petition organised by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), a group committed to the traditional definition of marriage, surged past 380,000 signatures. It is the largest petition this parliament.

Colin Hart, C4M campaign director, said he was delighted at the huge influx of support for the campaign: “This is the biggest grassroots campaign of this parliament, which shows just how important this issue is to many ordinary people.”

He added: “It is frightening that thousands of years of history, legislation and principles that have underpinned our nation’s values can be scrapped over the course of a five year parliament without the British people getting a say.

“Marriage is too important to be used as a political football by the Prime Minister and the Equalities Minister. They should realise that the public will not be fooled into thinking that they are trendy and progressive, because they say they want to redefine marriage. Actually, it highlights just how out of touch they are with ordinary people.”