Giles Chichester, the Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar has written to his party leader and prime minister, David Cameron, to complain about the Government’s proposals to introduce civil marriage equality.
He accuses the prime minister of pandering to the “Stonewall militant gay agenda” and claims that the move was not in the Conservative party manifesto. While it was not within the main manifesto, the Tory party said it would “consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage” in its ‘Contract for Equalities’.
The letter is reproduced in full below.
I am saddened and disappointed at the number of ways you and your government have chosen to undermine the traditional family. In your 2010 manifesto you promised positive recognition of families through the taxation system. You have so far failed to honour this promise.
Instead your government embarked on an unfair spending cut by proposing the withdrawal of child benefit from all tax payers subject to the higher, marginal rate of 40% income tax in a way which penalises the traditional family model of one earner and one carer while leaving it possible for couples with nearly double the income to remain eligible. Even with the change announced in the budget this still discriminates against the traditional family. I support the principle that higher rate payers should relinquish this benefit but the anomaly makes it unfair and, in particular, unfair to traditional family units.
But the worst way in which you are attacking the traditional family is through your bizarre attempt to redefine marriage. Why you have chosen to push the Stonewall militant gay agenda is a mystery to me because same sex marriage was not in your manifesto and so far as I can tell from friends in the gay community there is no majority within that minority in favour of trying to make same sex unions or partnerships the same as traditional marriage. Equal yes, same no.
I support these civil unions or partnerships having equal rights to traditional marriage so far as property ownership, legal status, taxation and inheritance rights are concerned but cannot agree that being equal must mean being the same. For two obvious reasons these unions or partnerships are not the same, namely a marriage is about a man and woman joined together for the procreation of children.
What you are doing in attempting to redefine marriage is to undermine and affront the traditional majority to no benefit to the gay and lesbian minority. It does not pass the reasonableness test. What you could do is ensure that equality of rights does exist and remedy a wrong that would not be solved by redefining marriage, namely the unfairness of property and inheritance rules for brothers or sisters living together in a household. Or would you invoke the rules on consanguinity on this point?
I ask you to reconsider your position during this consultation period, take full notice of the points that I have made and apply the tests of common sense and reasonableness that are the safeguard of Conservatives. Should this measure go through it will cause many Conservatives to question their loyalty to a party which is no longer supporting values inherent to the party.”
Giles Chichester MEP
Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar
P.S. I have a policy not to sign online petitions. However I have recently signed the Petition for Marriage because I feel so strongly about this issue. I would encourage anyone of like mind to do the same.