Cameron 'regrets' redefining marriage
There has been a lot of interesting news about the marriage debate in recent days – most of it bad news for David Cameron, the chief architect of the redefining marriage policy. So I thought you might appreciate a summary.
The Prime Minister privately admitted he should not have redefined marriage. According to a new book, David Cameron told an ally: “If I’d known what it was going to be like, I wouldn’t have done it.” Publicly, he has denied any regret, but he did go on the record to say: “I don’t think I expected quite the furore that there was.” This may be far from eating humble pie, but his comments do show a serious lack of judgement about the level of public support for traditional marriage.
Marriage tax break
The Conservatives have promised to recognise marriage in the tax system. Many countries allow one spouse to transfer their tax allowance to the other spouse. Not so in the UK. Here families with stay-at-home mums are, in effect, penalised. So recognising marriage in the tax system is a sound idea in principle, but the detail of the Prime Minister’s scheme leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, Mr Cameron has already mangled the meaning of marriage. For another, it is not a full transferable tax allowance – it will only make married couples £16 a month better off. The policy won’t be implemented until just before the General Election in 2015, and it is opposed by Labour and the Lib Dems so it may not happen at all. The policy is too little, too late.
Recent official figures released by the Conservative Party show that membership has almost halved since Mr Cameron became leader. Many grassroot Tories are upset at the redefinition of marriage. An analysis of local party associations published today by The Daily Telegraph, shows many associations are running out of money with the unpopularity of redefining marriage a key factor.
A poll at the weekend for the BBC shows most Tory councillors think redefining marriage will be a vote loser. Almost two thirds (63%) think it will cost the party more votes than it gains. And Maria Hutchings, the Conservative candidate in this year’s Eastleigh by-election, told the BBC that she lost the race because of the Party’s policy to redefine marriage. Even though voters knew that she was personally opposed to it, they still voted against her because they were so angry at the Party’s policy.
We were right
All of this shows that we were right, and Mr Cameron was wrong. We said this policy was unpopular and a vote loser – as well as being wrong in principle. He refused to listen to us, to you, and to 700,000 people like you. He is wrong and out of touch with ordinary people about marriage
Coalition for Marriage