50 Conservative chairmen and activists back same-sex marriage - full list of names
More than 50 senior Conservative activists, including chairmen or deputy chairman of the Birmingham Ladywood, Edgbaston and Erdington constituency associations, have written an open letter backing same-sex marriage.
Senior members of the Stourbridge and Halesowen & Rowley Regis constituency associations in the Black Country have also signed the letter.
There has been a lot of publicity about a letter signed by 22 current and former chairman of Conservative constituency associations asking the David Cameron to delay or scrap the proposal.
But senior Conservative activists who back the proposals, to be debated tomorrow evening (Tuesday February 5), have now spoken out.
"Please do not allow the impression that all Conservative Party activists are opposed to gay marriage. Many of us strongly agree with the proposal.
"Nor is it true that gay marriage has no mandate. David Cameron made his support for it clear in his first Conference speech as Party Leader, and won loud applause. It was in the Party's Equalities Manifesto at the last election.
"We agree that there are many vital issues for the Government to tackle. But marriage and how we treat minorities are important issues, too.
"The polls show that a substantial majority of the public support gay marriage. That number is increasing, and young people are even more in favour.
"We appreciate the concerns of some of our supporters. But the freedom of faith groups to disagree is protected in the Bill. By opposing gay marriage outright, we risk alienating the voters we will need in 2015.
"To win, the Conservative Party must mount a broad appeal. We urge our MPs to listen to the wider views of their electorate as they decide how to vote.
"Signed by Paul Swaddle, Chairman of the Conservative National Convention and over 50 further senior Conservatives."
And here is the full list of signatories (with the West Midlands names at the top, followed by the rest of the country)
Gareth Compton Birmingham Erdington Chairman
Jim Cooper Heartlands Area Chairman
Daniel Cowdrill Birmingham Ladywood Chairman
Jeff Hill Halesowen & Rowley Regis Deputy Chairman
Gary Sambrook Birmingham Erdington Treasurer
Damon Shinnie Birmingham Edgbaston Deputy Chairman
Mike Wood Stourbridge Former Chairman
Derek Johnson Birmingham Erdington Deputy Chairman
Nicholas Allen Doncaster Central Chairman
James Bellis Vauxhall Chairman
Peter Booth Brighton Kemptown Chairman
Anne Broomhead Salford Chairman
Mark Brown Edinburgh West Chairman
Paul Buckley Ashton-Under-Lyne Deputy Chairman
Tim Caines Tottenham Chairman
Alex Coleman Reading East Deputy Chairman
Alistair Corrie Wokingham Deputy Chairman
Graham Cox Brighton & Hove Chairman
Tom Doyle Wealden Officer
Simon Fox Camberwell & Peckham Chairman
Anthony Gearing Oxfordshire Councillor
Stephen Haraldsen Copeland Chairman
Tim Harris Reading Borough Council Conservative Group Leader
Janet Harris Haringey Conservative Women's Organisation Chairman
Justin Hinchcliffe Tottenham Deputy Chairman
Oliver Johnstone Hazel Grove Deputy Chairman
Mike Jordan North Yorkshire County Councillor
Simon Kitchen Camberwell & Peckham Deputy Chairman
Iain Lindley Salford Deputy Chairman
Liam Marshall-Ascough Crawley Former Chairman
Iain McGill Edinburgh North & Leith Chairman
Andrew Merrill Ellesmere Port & Neston Deputy Chairman
Sally Roberts London Conservative Women's Organisation Chairman
Chris Rowell North Yorkshire Conservative Future Chairman
Matthew Sephton Altrincham & Sale Deputy Chairman
Ben Spencer Camberwell Deputy Chairman
Alison Swaddle Reading East Chairman
Thomas Turrell Greenwich Deputy Chairman
Craig Ulliot Hull West & Hessle Deputy Chairman
Robert Waltham Brigg & Goole Chairman
Mark Wells Doncaster Central Former Chairman
Matt Davies Portsmouth North Deputy Chairman
Michael Rutherford South London Area Officer
Mike Flynn Cardiff Central Chairman
Chris Costigan Chipping Barnet Deputy Chairman
Lindsay Paterson Scotland Vice Chairman
Robert McIlveen Lewisham Deptford Chairman
Allan Finnie East Kilbride , Strathaven and Lesmahagow Vice Chairman
Daniel Hawkridge York University Chairman
Rob Bailey North West Chairman
Emma Warman Berkshire Deputy Chairman
Marcus Llewellyn-Rothschild Hornchurch & Upminster Chairman
Christine Mackay West Hull and Hessle Deputy Chairman