Ministers defy PM on gay marriage

27 May
Sundaytimes story
Marie Woolf, Jack Grimston and Isabel Oakeshott Published: 19 May 2013
  • DAVID CAMERON is facing further humiliation over the gay marriage bill this week as more than 150 Tory MPs, including cabinet ministers, prepare to vote for a series of amendments watering down the proposal and protecting “conscientious objectors”.

    Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, is to defy ministerial convention and join MPs voting for a series of amendments that would permit teachers, faith schools and registrars to opt out of marrying gay men and lesbians.

    John Hayes, the Cabinet Office minister recently brought into Downing Street to act as a sounding board for the Tory right wing, is also planning to back the amendments.

    In a last-ditch attempt to see off the rebellion, ministers have signalled that they plan to introduce measures to make it clear that teachers with a personal objection to gay marriage would not have to promote it in schools. Likewise, registrars who object to gay marriage may



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