Yvette Cooper attacks Tories for “rowing backwards on equal marriage”

11th December, 2012 4:20 pm

Speaking this afternoon, Labour’s shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper made the following attack on the Tories over equal marriage:

“Why is the Government now rowing backwards on equal marriage? Having said that churches would be able to hold same sex marriages if they wanted to, they now say it will be illegal for the Church of England to do so even if it wants to in future. How can that be freedom of religion?

“These plans are now deeply confused – Ministers must not get defensive or give in to the intolerant and inflammatory speeches from Tory backbenchers.

“The Government is right to say that no church should be required to hold same sex marriages. But freedom of religion goes both ways. Churches that want to show they treat all loving couples equally should be able to do so.

“Although the Church of England has said it does not support same sex marriage right now I hope it will change its position in time. But Parliament should not make it harder for them to do so by ruling that out. And the Government should not be giving in to opponents on their own backbenches.

“Backbench Tories who oppose same sex marriage should think again about their intolerant language. Linking same sex marriage to polygamy, suggesting it is an affront to so called “normal marriages,” or blaming same sex marriage for fewer marriages abroad are all ridiculous and shameful.

“No one group, organisation or faith owns marriage. Changing the law would still respect the freedom of religion of those who oppose same sex marriage. But opponents should also respect the values and freedom of those of us who want to support equal marriage too.”

Latest

  • Comment Victory is what we owe to the people we represent

    Victory is what we owe to the people we represent

    In 1963 JFK prepared (but never got to deliver) a speech attacking ‘voices preaching doctrines which apparently assume that … vituperation is as good as victory.’ Reading that last phrase recently I knew immediately what he meant. Years ago, after the 1980 local elections in the wake of Thatcher’s victory, there was a view in some quarters that, even when we won control locally, we should remain in opposition to ‘teach the electorate a lesson’. The idea was that if […]

    Read more →
  • Comment How well does Labour know its own members?

    How well does Labour know its own members?

    Reading an article on ConservativeHome provided a clear demonstration of how the Conservatives have embraced technology and have left Labour behind.  Without a clear signal of intent and without significant investment in tech, the Party will be hobbled at future elections. Fundamentally, the Party does not appear to have the level of information and detail required about its own members, let alone its voters and potential voters.  Without this it cannot motivate anyone.  The ability to tailor a pitch, an […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Corbyn promises to welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party into his shadow cabinet

    Corbyn promises to welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party into his shadow cabinet

    Jeremy Corbyn has said he would welcome “great talents” from all parts of the Labour party – including the Blairite wing – into his shadow cabinet if he becomes leader. In an interview with the Observer, the MP for Islington North says that he wants to have a “big tent”, including so-called Blairites and Brownites in his team. “Of course there are differences of opinion and I have to be big enough to accommodate those differences of opinion and I […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Neil Kinnock endorses Andy Burnham for Labour leader

    Neil Kinnock endorses Andy Burnham for Labour leader

    Neil Kinnock has endorsed Andy Burnham to be Labour’s next leader. The former Labour leader has written an article in the Guardian in which he argues that Burnham has “the radical values” “the experience as a campaigner and a cabinet minister” and “the credible policies” to be Labour leader. In a veiled jibe directed at Jeremy Corbyn, Kinnock also tells Labour members and supporters that the party “are not choosing the chair of a discussion group who can preside over […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Is Blue Labour the answer to Labour’s woes?

    Is Blue Labour the answer to Labour’s woes?

    What can the much-derided Blue Labour offer the party? It is a question worth asking, because the leadership contest has so far largely eschewed big ideas. Surely, losing so badly in England and being flat-out destroyed in Scotland calls for a thorough reckoning with the party’s downward trajectory from 2005 to the present – a soul-searching process which asks: what is Labour now for? Jeremy Corbyn is excelling and inspiring partly because he is the only candidate with a clear […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit