71% of local Tory Party chairman expressing serious concern over David Cameron's proposal for "gay marriage" saying it is likely to loose them votes rather than win them. I am told even in Brighton and Hove where our own gay MP Mike Weatherley, in all practical senses of the word refuses to discuss the matter, there is serious concern. My parishioners say he just sends them dismissive and contemptuous letters.
At their Birmingham conference any discussion of "gay marriage" has been banned however Ann Widdecombe spoke to a capacity audience of 1,1000 at a fringe meeting in Birmingham City Hall, many others were unable to get in. She ridiculed the idea of getting rid of terms like "husband" and "wife" and replacing them with "partners to the marriage", she also hit out at Cameron's view of freedom:
"No society can be free without the freedom to dissent and no democracy real without the recognition of a plurality of views... David Cameron: Tell me how a party devoted to freedom, a party that has always opposed oppression and the power of the state over the individual, can even contemplate creating such a Britain?"Speaking a few days ago to a couple of people who have strong contacts with Conservative Central Office, I am told that most MPs just wish this issue will go away. Like Mike Weatherley many have slim or shaky majorities and though personally they might be ambivalent to the either for religious or social reasons, or like Ann Widdecombe because of the freedom issues it raises, they are loathe to put their heads above the parapet, fearing charges of homophobia but on the other-hand so many Tory activists; the door knockers and envelope stuffers are social (small "c") conservatives and are even threatening to withdraw their support, if Cameron goes ahead with this.
Being cynical, I suspect various Tory ministers suggesting recently a lowering of the age at which abortion can take place is sop to those Christians against "gay marriage", an attempt to keep them on board.