Culture Secretary Maria Miller is planning new legal protection for opponents of gay marriage, the Mail claims.
The 49 year-old MP is reported to be planning an amendment to the Public Order Act which would allow people “who want to express their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman” to do so without the risk of prosecution.
A source said:
“It addresses the concern that there will be a chilling effect so that people, such as those of faith, will be afraid to express their views in public.”
Miller reportedly hopes the amendment will help the smooth the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through parliament.
During a stormy debate in the House of Lords earlier this month, Baroness Warsi, the Minister of State for Faith and Communities, insisted that religious groups needed more protection and abstained in the eventual vote.