David Cameron's Support For Gay Marriage 'Helping Detoxify Tory Brand'


Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to champion same-sex marriage has helped to improve the reputation of the Conservative Party among gay people, a survey suggested.

Proposals to change the law have been seized on by Tory MPs demanding a return to the party's traditional values following last week's local election drubbing.

They have called for the initiative to be dropped amid a vocal protest campaign, including churches, in favour of restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Figures suggesting it was proving a popular move among gay people were published to mark the launch of a website campaign aimed at countering that opposition.

Almost three quarters (72%) of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered voters consulted by PinkNews.co.uk said they liked the Conservative Party "a little or lot more" as a result.

Most were only slightly influenced however, with 12% putting themselves in the "a lot" category.

The Out4Marriage.org campaign - being run by the publication along with the Coalition for Equal Marriage group - hopes to emulate a video-based scheme in the US.

Politicians and campaigners have recorded videos for the website explaining why they support same-sex marriage and are due to be followed by celebrity and public contributions.

Among those already involved are shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, lesbian Rabbi Ariel Freelander and Brian Paddick, the former senior Scotland Yard officer who fought the London mayoral election for the Liberal Democrats.

Critics of the policy have seized on its expected absence from today's Queen's Speech as evidence of a climbdown by Mr Cameron.

But Chancellor George Osborne insisted at the weekend that it had never been the intention to include the legislation - due to be law by 2015 - in this session.

:: PinkNews.co.uk consulted 336 members of an existing panel of voters invited to represent a "roughly accurate cross section" of the gay community.

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