Tory MP: Christian beliefs “came into play” when voting against same sex marriage
Secretary of State for Wales and Clwyd West MP, David Jones, has said that bringing up children is something same-sex couples “can’t do”.
He said providing a “warm and safe environment” for children can’t be done by same-sex parents and his religion was taken into account when voting. He explained: “yes, it was partly my Christian faith that came into play – but by no means the full reason.”
The Conservative MP also said his religion “certainly informs” his politics and he feels a sense of “loss” when not having gone to church recently.
The remarks were made in an interview with Adrian Masters on Wales’ Face to Face television programme this Thursday, after only Mr Jones and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson voted against the same-sex marriage bill on 5th February.
Defending his choice in the free vote, Mr Jones said he “felt overwhelmingly” that the “constituents of Clwyd West were opposed”.
A YouGov poll this January of influential people in England and Wales confirms 58% support same-sex marriage, while 27% oppose and 16% don’t know.
In a poll in April 2012, Wales and the South West voted 5% much more likely to vote under the coalition’s redefinition of marriage (to include same-sex marriages) and 7% much less likely to vote.
Mr Jones also said he was “not in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships” and that those who know him would not accuse him of homophobia, but the issue was “important” with “very strong and committed reasons on both sides of the argument”.
The TV interview was met with backlash from opposing MPs and English actor Charlie Condou, a parent in a same-sex partnership, was “astounded” and called Mr Jones’ comments “hate speech” in an online article for The Guardian.
Prime Minister David Cameron has backed Mr Jones and said he still has “confidence” in his colleague.