New Equalities Minister bows to pressure on gay marriage

May 14, 2015

It seems a day is a long time when you’re the Equalities Minister.

On Tuesday Caroline Dinenage – one of 136 Conservative MPs to vote against same-sex marriage in 2013 – was appointed to the post by David Cameron.

Before the vote Dinenage wrote clearly about marriage being distinctive and argued that the State has no right to redefine its meaning.

She also noted that the plans were not included in the Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrats manifestos.

But no sooner had she taken up her new role than Benjamin Cohen, the CEO of gay news site PinkNews, was speaking publically of his hopes that Dinenage would change her mind on the issue.

By lunchtime yesterday the new minister wrote on Twitter: “I support equal marriage & I’m fully committed to advancing the cause of LGBT equality moving forward”.

What a shame. More Tory MPs voted against the same-sex bill in February 2013 than voted for it.

At the time two cabinet ministers, eight junior ministers and eight whips also opposed the idea.

So why her change of heart? And why put pressure on her to change her stance at all?

Sadly, she is experiencing what so many others have witnessed too – instead of same-sex marriage signifying a more tolerant society, actually it’s resulting in difference being squeezed out of public life.