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Anti-gay marriage group backs Tory who voted against same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy April 12, 2015
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A lobbying group that opposes same-sex marriage is delivering leaflets praising a Conservative who voted against equality.

The ‘Coalition for Marriage’ – which unsuccessfully tried to block the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013 – has taken to leafleting in favour of MPs who voted against the bill.

The group are handing out leaflets in praise of Tory PPC Matthew Offord, who has been the MP for Hendon in North London since 2010. Mr Offord branded equal marriage an “attack on religion” during a Parliamentary debate.

Anti-gay marriage group backs Tory who voted against same-sex marriage
Anti-gay marriage group backs Tory who voted against same-sex marriage

The leaflets state: “When Parliament voted to redefine marriage for same-sex couples, your MP for Hendon voted courageously against.”

The leaflets could actually prove decisive in the constituency, as Mr Offord has a wafer-thin majority of just 106 votes over Labour’s Andrew Dinsmore.

However, emphasising the link could hurt his appeal to gay Tories, as a PinkNews poll last year found that 84.6% of gay voters would vote against their local MP if they voted against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act – even if the MP was from their own party.

It is unclear whether the leaflet is backed by Mr Offord, and PinkNews has reached out to him for comment.

Local resident Peggy Sherwood said she was shocked to recieve leaflets referring to the issue – more than a year after the first weddings began.

She said: “As a married Jewish lesbian, I’m shocked that Offord has reverted to this ghastly argument once again.

“Same-sex marriage is here to stay whether he likes it or not.”

The leaflets go on to claim that people are “now being punished for this sensible belief” – citing a nursery worker who was sacked for telling a gay colleague that God doesn’t approve of her sexuality.

It also cites a “long-serving volunteer” for the Red Cross who was dismissed after protesting against gay weddings – but fails to mention that the man is actually a former UKIP candidate.

More: civil partnership, civil union, Conservative, England, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, matthew offord, mp, same sex weddings, Tory, Union, wedding

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