The MP for South Dorset has written an open letter to David Cameron, voicing his strong opposition to equal marriage, giving religious reasons, and saying that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

Richard Drax wrote his letter in response to yesterday’s news that the prime minister is to fast-track legislation to introduce equal marriage within weeks.

Mr Drax said that Cameron wanted to rush through the legislation in order to avoid a growing campaign against equal marriage, reported This Is Dorset. He said:

“Many millions of people believe that ‘marriage’ can only be between a man and a woman.

“In my view, there is no call for ‘marriage’ to be redefined, not even from the gay community, which now has equal rights.

“In fact, I believe it is disrespectful to those who believe that marriage is an integral part of the Christian faith.

“Simply put, we must not legislate against the conscience of the Church.’’

The Conservative Party MP, and former member of the British Army, went on to say that, if the government pushed ahead with the legislation in a “misguided search for popularity”, that the trust the voters had placed in them would be lost.

Mr Drax came under heavy criticism in 2011, when he wrote a blog post which attacked plans to encourage schools to include references to gay people in maths, science and geography.