According to the PinkNews.co.uk voters panel, an invited group of readers representing the LGBT population, LGBT people feel more favourably towards the Conservative Party following the pledge by prime minister David Cameron to introduce marriage equality, although they might not necessarily vote for him. Panel members also felt that straight couples should be offered civil partnerships post marriage equality or the entire civil partnerships system should be abolished.
From a representative panel of 336 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered voters that PinkNews has been tracking since the 2010 election campaign, 72 per cent said the strong support of David Cameron for equal civil marriage has made them “like the Conservative party a little or a lot more than they did at the last election”. 12 per cent opted for the latter. Among a self selecting group of respondents, 55 per cent said they felt a little or lot more favourably towards the Tories, with 45 per cent saying it hadn’t changed their perception.
Last week, David Cameron said: “I ask myself the question, why is it that we deny gay couples the ability to get married, and I don’t think that’s right.
“Obviously this is a controversial issue. I feel the time for change has come. If you ask, particularly young people, they say this feels like a very natural change to make … We are not changing what happens in church. The Conservative Party has been on a journey to where all small-c institutions go, in a modern world, which is that if marriage is good for heterosexuals it is good for gay couples too.”
On the eve of last weekend’s local elections, PinkNews.co.uk asked the same panel members how they would vote in a general election, 41 per cent said Labour with just 30 per cent of members saying they would vote Conservative. 336 PinkNews.co.uk panel members were consulted and there were 374 self selecting responses.
But when it comes to the Government’s actual proposals, just 2 percent of the PinkNews.co.uk panel supported the Government’s plans to offer gay couples the option of either civil partnerships or civil marriage without offering the same right to straight couples.
Instead 60 per cent said that all couples, straight or gay should have the option of choosing to hold either a civil partnership or a marriage, in other words full equality.
A surprisingly large number, 38 per cent said that civil partnerships should be abolished, meaning gay or straight couples would only be offered the option of marriage.
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper said: “We should celebrate marriage. Couples who love each other and want to make a long term commitment to each other should be able to get married whatever their gender or sexuality. David Cameron should show some principle and promise equal marriage legislation as soon as possible.”
PinkNews.co.uk with the Coalition for Equal Marriage and the digital agency Remarkable is launching Out4Marriage a social media campaign to suport marriage equality. To join the campaign, simply record a video saying why you are “coming Out4Marriage“.