Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has passionately defended his controversial bill to make same-sex marriage legal arguing that it could transform the lives of young LGBT people.
Mr Cameron was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme following last night’s vote in the House of Commons. 366 MPs backed his Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, while 161 MPs, primarily Conservatives opposed his plans for LGBT equality.
Mr Cameron told the BBC: “The fact is this is a free vote issue that parliaments have to determine. Our House of Commons has just determined that.
“I think we should think about it like this – that there will be young boys in schools today who are gay, who are worried about being bullied, who are worried about what society thinks of them, who can see that the highest Parliament in the land has said that their love is worth the same as anybody else’s love and that we believe in equality.
“I think they will stand that bit taller today and I’m proud of the fact that that has happened.”
Mr Cameron only referring to gay boys caused some questioning on social media and within the PinkNews comments section. However, a senior Downing Street source told PinkNews.co.uk: “Clearly the Prime Minister was referring to the gays and lesbians who will be able to marry under the Bill. In an interview full of interruptions he didn’t get to refer to young girls as well but clearly that’s what he meant.”
The Prime Minister accepted that his party was divided on the issue but said: “On the gay marriage issue, this is an issue clearly that divides the country. It certainly divides the Conservative Party. ”But I think it is right for Britain, like other countries, to take on this issue and to determine the right approach and that’s exactly what I’ve done and I’m proud of the fact that this legislation has now passed the House of Commons. That’s a good thing.
“Every country across the world is having to address this. In New Zealand a centre-right Government has just legalised gay marriage. Eleven or 12 states in the US have done the same thing.
“I think it’s important that we have this degree of equality and I say that as someone who’s a massive supporter of marriage. I think marriage is a wonderful institution. It helps people to commit to each other. I think it’s such a good institution that it should be available to gay people as well as heterosexuals.”
Earlier this week, in an exclusive interview with PinkNews.co.uk, gay Conservative MP Crispin Blunt conceded that same-sex marriage has cost the Tory leader support from within his party.
“He’s made his point, everyone knows the fire he’s going through with some of his own colleagues in order to deliver this and I hope people are going to be appropriately grateful for the fantastic leadership that he’s shown on this.”
Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is giving a speech this morning where he will say that the Conservative Party needs to stop bickering over same-sex marriage and Europe and start “governing”.