By James Chapman
Gay marriage is consistent with Christian values of ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’, the equalities minister has told religious critics.
Helen Grant said she was a ‘God-fearing woman’ and suggested those of faith should support Government plans to legalise gay unions.
Speaking ahead of a key vote on the issue next week, in which 100 Conservative MPs are expected to refuse to back the reform, Mrs Grant dismissed the idea that there was no mandate for it since it was not included in the party’s general election manifesto.
She said the proposal was in a ‘contract for equalities’ published at the same time as the manifesto in 2010 and it was ‘quite clear what our intentions may well be’.
‘I am a God-fearing woman.
My faith is very fundamental to everything I do and think.
‘I am a member of the Church of England, a Christian, and my faith is very, very important to me,’ the Tory minister said in an interview with political magazine The House.’
‘I think it’s [same-sex marriage] absolutely consistent with my beliefs.
‘For me, as a Christian, I see it as about justice, equality, fairness, ending discrimination and opening up marriage to more people on the basis that marriage is a very special institution.’
Mrs Grant said the Government would make sure there was ‘proper protection’ in place for religious organisations and ministers who do not want to perform same-sex marriages.
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