A letter from a Conservative MP to one of his consitutents has leaked, in which he explains why he will vote against plans to allow gay civil marriages in their current proposed form.
In a letter sent to a constituent after they asked him to support the government's plans to introduce same-sex marriage, Karl McCartney said it would have the effect of "uprooting thousands of years of Christian tradition".
"You raised concerns that the law, in its current form, discriminated against those in civil partnerships," he said.
"However in my opinion, the LGBT community have exhausted the cause of equal rights and have now picked on an issue which would possibly only affect a few thousand people every year."
The Lincoln MP said that while he applauded the changes made and achieved by the LGBT community in recent decades he was concerned that further changes would "harm the progress that has largely been made for little real gain".
As first reported by Political Scrapbook, McCartney went on to say that the logical conclusion of gay marriage would be to also allow bigamy and child marriages.
"If you and your likeminded campaigners were of the opinion that all couples should be able to have civil partnerships, then you might have more credence, but you are not," he said.
"Nor are you advocating multi-partnership marriages, not a reduction in the age of permitted marriage. But if one takes your 'arguments' to any conclusion that is where we could end up."
The current minimum age for marriage is 18, or 16 if the couple have their parents consent.
McCartney rejected the request that he canvass other MPs to support gay marriage as his "conscience dictates that I do the opposite".
The government is currently consulting on how to introduce same-sex marriage and the plan has the backing of the leadership of all three main political parties.
However the are several Tory backbenchers who vocally oppose the move and can be expected to vote against any change in the law.
Karl McCartney contacted Huffington Post to say that his comments, while accurately reported, were taken out of context. He insists that the full text of the original letter from his constituent to him would provide the full context, but in compliance with privacy and data protection he is unable to release this.