Equal marriage campaign group Out4Marriage has responded to remarks made by the Tory Minister for Wales, who has come under heavy criticism after voicing his views on same-sex parenting.
The Cabinet Minister for Wales and MP for Clywd West, David Jones, caused outrage by saying in an interview that that same-sex parents were unable to provide children with an adequately “warm and safe environment.”
Mr Jones appeared on ITV Wales show Face to Face yesterday, and said: “I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do.”
On Friday afternoon, he responded to criticism, saying that he was “fully supportive” of “committed same-sex relationships”, and that he was in favour of civil partnerships.
In his response, he said: “I did not say in the interview that same-sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view.
“I simply sought to point out that, since same-sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners.”
Out4Marriage’s Director Campaigns, James-J Walsh said: “David Jones has clearly overstepped a line. The LGBT community’s capability or suitability to parent is not an area up for discussion in the same-sex marriage debate, and his badly chosen words are at best offensive to the thousands of gay parents that already exist across the UK today.
“Mr Jones should both publicly apologise in the House of Parliament and also go out and meet with LGBT families in his local area to undo the hurt he has caused with his ill chosen words which stands in stark contrast to Mr Cameron’s who gave his full support today of LGBT Parents, but this shows the division between the modern socially-liberal conservatives-led by the Prime Minister and the more traditional ‘echelons’ of his party can be”.
On Friday evening, a spokesman for the prime minister commented by saying David Cameron rejected Mr Jones’ claims about children in same-sex families and that he is in favour of same-sex adoption.
The Labour Party called on David Jones to apologise for his remarks. Labour’s shadow equalities minister Kate Green branded Mr Jones’ remarks “hugely insulting, offensive and wrong”.
Shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith claimed the comments proved that the “nasty party is alive and well under David Cameron”.
Labour MP Chris Bryant wrote a letter to Mr Jones calling for evidence to back up his claims, or failing that an apology to same-sex parents.
Mr Jones was one of only two Cabinet Ministers who voted against the second reading of the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill.
LGBT people were given the legal right to adopt children under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, implemented in 2006 following legal challenges.