Conservative Party leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom said that the legalisation of gay marriage in England and Wales hurt Christians.
Speaking to ITV News, the Energy Minister said that for “for the many, many Christians who wrote to me on this subject”, marriage “can only be between a man and a woman”. In 2013, Leadsom abstained from the Commons vote to legalise gay marriage. By contrast, leadership rival Theresa May supported the legislation.
While she insisted that gay couples were “every bit as valuable” as straight couples, she had problems with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. Leadsom would have “preferred for civil partnerships to be available to heterosexual and gay couples and for marriage to have remained as a Christian service that was for men and women who wanted to commit in the eyes of God”.
She maintained that she did not “consider gay couples to be any less worthy of marriage than heterosexual couples, not at all” but was concerned about the consequences of the legislation. There had been a “very clear hurt caused to many Christians” throughout the country, she claimed.
The law had “muddled the terms of marriage, civil partnership, register office, church”, and she told ITV that this was her main objection to the Act, adding that she does in fact “absolutely support gay marriage”.
Andrea Leadsom is one of the only two candidates remaining for the leadership of the Conservative Party after Justice Secretary Michael Gove was eliminated in the latest round of voting.
Photo of Andrea Leadsom courtesy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.