The UK equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, has confirmed through her blog that proposals for equal marriage will not be in this year’s Queen’s Speech.
Her comments come on the back of reports today that the Tories, in the wake of dramatic election losses, will ‘back down on gay marriage’ — reports a spokesperson for Downing Street has denied in a statement to this publication. The spokesperson dismissed these comments as “mere speculation” and that the PM’s position remains “unaltered.”
However, the Chancellor George Osborne, appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show said: “we are a socially progressive country and it is something I support” but that legislation would not be introduced soon.
Writing on her blog, the equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, said that there would be “no u-turn on equal marriage.” It’s not an “either/or,” Mrs Featherstone wrote, and while economy remains for the government the top priority, the Coalition, she said, “can multi-task.”
However, in response to one of the comments on the post, she added: “Same sex marriage was never going to be in this year’s Queen’s Speech,” echoing comments made by the Downing Street spokesperson.
The current consultation now underway was a question of “how” to implement equal marriage than “if,”. Mrs Featherstone is to meet PinkNews.co.uk together with other LGBT media and campaigners on Tuesday to explain the plans for legislation.
The shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, in writing for this publication, called on the government to include the proposals for equal marriage in this year’s Queen’s Speech, and for the law to be enacted this year. That, however, seems now unlikely.