Christians turn their back on Cameron
NEARLY three-fifths of churchgoers are less likely to vote for David Cameron at the next general election following his plans to legalise gay marriage, according to a survey released yesterday.
About two-thirds believe the Prime Minister has shown himself to be “intolerant” in his reaction to opposition to his plans, the poll found.
The research also makes gloomy reading for Cameron’s deputy, Nick Clegg, with 43 per cent of Christians less likely to vote Liberal Democrat and just 2 per cent more likely. Some 65 per cent of churchgoers said their views on Clegg had got worse, because of the proposals.
The poll has implications for the SNP-led Scottish government, which last month agreed to allow same-sex marriages in Scotland despite widespread opposition from churches north of the Border.
The SNP went ahead amid warnings that there could be an electoral backlash, especially from Catholic voters, at the next Holyrood election.
The poll of 569 churchgoers was commissioned by campaigners Coalition for Marriage (C4M). Campaign director Colin Hart said: “This is yet another blow for these ill-thought-out and undemocratic proposals.
“Churchgoers simply don’t believe the assurances from the government that these changes will not be forced on churches and the high levels of concern reflect those in the wider population.
“This change is being pushed for by a tiny number of people. Only a minority of gay people believe that these plans are a priority. It also reveals high levels of scepticism among churchgoers about Mr Cameron’s motives.”
The UK government launched a consultation on the proposals earlier this year, and Cameron was reported last month to have told gay groups he was determined to push the change through by the time of the election in 2015.
He gave his support to same-sex marriage at last year’s Conservative conference when he said: “I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative, I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.”
C4M is a grassroots campaign representing faith groups, MPs, peers, academics, lawyers, pro-family organisations and members of the public.
n ComRes surveyed 569 people by online questionnaire.
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