The Midland Conservatives backing same-sex marriage

By Jonathan Walker on Dec 10, 12 11:30 AM in Politics

Former Birmingham MP Lord Fowler is among the Conservatives backing same-sex marriage.

Norman Fowler has the MP for Sutton Coldfield for 27 years, and served as Transport Secretary and Party Chairman.

He's one of the supporters of a group called Freedom to Marry, which is campaigning "to win the freedom of same sex couples to marry, and to ensure that religious freedom is protected".

Other West Midlands politicians who are members include Margot James, MP for Stourbridge (Con).

They argue that "marriage should be open to all, regardless of sexuality". However, they also want to see "the strongest legal safeguards" to ensure religious communities cannot be forced to conduct same-sex marriages.

The campaign's members are Conservatives and include London Mayor Boris Johnson and Tory bloggers and journalists as well as MPs and peers. One of the aims, I imagine, is to demonstrate that there is support for same-sex marriage within the Conservative Party as well as the opposition which we know exists.

Conservatives who have expressed opposition to same-sex marriage include Paul Uppal (Con Wolverhampton South West), Gavin Williamson (Con South Staffordshire), Richard Shepherd (Con Aldridge and Brownhills), Bill Cash (Con Stone), Jeremy Lefroy (Con Stafford) and Mark Pritchard (Con The Wrekin).

David Cameron has been consistent in backing same-sex marriage but he's sometimes looked a little isolated within his party. Freedom to Marry demonstrates that he's not alone, although it's certainly a divisive issue for the Tories.

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Jonathan Walker

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