UK PM David Cameron Supports Gay Marriage Because ‘I’m a Conservative’

UK Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his support for same-sex marriage at a Conservative Party conference today, urging Tories to back it, Pink Paper reports.

Cameron Said Cameron:

"I once stood before a Conservative conference and said it shouldn’t matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and another man. You applauded me for that. Five years on, we’re consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative."


  1. Peter says

    Thank you, Mr. Cameron. Thie main difference between intelligent conservatives in the UK and in the USA is the church. Keep religious beliefs to yourself and OUT of politics, period.!

  2. Married in MA says

    @ Peter – What you said! It’s perfectly logical that SSM will strengthen marriage & family, not destoy it.

  3. ohplease says

    Marriage equality has always been the conservative position, it’s just that we don’t actually have conservatives in the States, we have the slaves and pawns of billionaires who sew chaos in order to distract the country from their rule.

  4. James C says

    You would never hear one of our bigoted conservatives saying something like this. Ironic that this is happening in a nation that actually has an official state religion, while in this nation that supposedly has enshrined separation of church and state, such fair-minded treatment is literally a foreign concept. Republicans have to hate this. The mere fact that a leader they revere on many economic issues is stepping this far out front on this social issue has to have their heads on the verge of exploding.

  5. MT says

    @Peter – EXACTLY! You can be conservative without being a religious wingnut. It’s disgusting how evangelicals have polluted the political waters in America.

  6. Urmensch says

    While this is great news I am disturbed by his talk of scrapping the European Convention on Human Rights and replacing it with a British bill of rights.

    Knowing the Tories, this would not be on the side of LGBT folk when there is any conflict with religious people. I might just be paranoid, but I’m uneasy as to how it would affect us.

  7. Robert in NYC says

    Absolutely fantastic, well done David Cameron! So that’s 3 main political party leaders supporting it in the UK. Brilliant! Who would have thought, a conservative? Puts the GOP to shame. NOM and the righties in the GOP will be having a hissy fit of course. Cameron makes Obama look like a moderate republican.

    Urmensch, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The fact that Cameron has endorsed it has been done so in defiance of the state cult and others. Speaks volumes. They can rant all they want, when a conservative prime minister endorses something, the rest of the party falls in line and so too will most in the House of Lords. There are only 28 religious clerics who would oppose it of course out of more than 700 or more who wouldn’t. This is indeed the new face of a completely new conservative party in the UK for the first time in its history. It has far more openly gay Members of Parliament (MPs) than the Labour or Liberal Democratic parties.

  8. Jack M says

    So in England, Conservatives are thinking, feeling human beings? Fascinating how cultures differ!

  9. Chitown Kev says

    Like, WOW!

    Granted that Cameron IS a Tory so we’ll have to see what his actions are but this is extremely powerful rhetoric; far more powerful than anything that President Obama has said on the subject of marriage equality.

    I want to hear what the wingnuts have to say to this…

  10. Stewart says

    So here we have the leader of a centre right party endorsing gay marriage in the UK, while in the U.S your President of what is supposed to be a centre/left party chokes every time on the words.

  11. dazzer says

    This is a weird one.
    I’ll give Cameron kudos for being the only party leader to mention gay equality in his speech to his party conference. It really is amazing that a Conservative Prime Minister should say such a thing in an important speech.
    Now I’m going to look like a cynic because I think Cameron is – in part – using gays and lesbians to soften his political image. He’s actually the leader of a strongly, ideologically right-wing government. He’s also been hit by a drop in women voters’ confidence in him. At a time when his fiscal reputation is decidedly hard right wing, he needs to be seen ‘soft/progressive’ on social issues to win back women voters. The gay marriage thing is soft, it has support from the population at large and it makes him look like he’s listening without costing him a penny.
    Then there’s the nature of the marriage ‘equality’ that he wants. He is looking for civil marriage equality, but he’s stifled the possibility of gay marriage in religious premises. In the current consultation, that can’t happen. This is despite strong lobbying from the Quakers, the Unitarians and the Reform and Liberal Jews who want top marry gay/lesban couples in their churches/temples/synagogues/etc.
    I hope I’m not coming across as mindlessly attacking Cameron here. I think it’s tremendous that he’s said what he’s said and I applaud him incredibly highly. However, his speech doesn’t address the totality of the situation and he’s managed to swerve some important issues in the UK when it comes to equality.

  12. BobN says

    “Marriage equality has always been the conservative position”

    I am so sick and tired of this utter distortion of the last 50 years.

    MARRIAGE has always been a conservative issue

    EQUALITY has always been a liberal issue

    The latter group has finally advanced the cause far enough that the former group has stopped fighting to god damned hard to keep the word EQUALITY from getting hitched to the word MARRIAGE.

    Kudos for finally seeing the light. Now apologize.

  13. ophu says

    Speeding up progress when it is too slow is a liberal issue.

    Slowing down progress when it becomes chaos is a conservative issue.

    We need both kinds.

  14. Robert in NYC says

    Dazzer, David Cameron wasn’t the first to endorse it in a party conference. It was Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democratic leader who endorsed it for the second or third time in his party conference two weeks ago. He endorsed it last year in fact ot was adopted as official Liberal Democratic policy. The Liberal Democrats as you may well know now form part of the conservative coalition government. Ed Miliband of the Labour party also supports it. All three party leaders now on board.

    As for religious same sex marriage, I’d rather get civil marriage equality done first. There are some religious non-major denominations willing to marry us but for now, I’d be happy with full civil marriage equality for the time being.

  15. Allan in the UK says

    Good God, it’s amazing what tripe that man will spew out to get votes. I just want to be clear to any Americans out there, you’re not understanding where this is really coming from.
    This isn’t a British Conservative/USA conservative divide, Cameron is not being a progressive Conservative Prime Minister, despite how it appears. David Cameron’s party are haemorrhaging votes with women and minorities, their idealogical cuts are after all, hitting them hardest. David Cameron urgently needs to appear a softer type of Conservative, more progressive, more liberal and centralist. To do that, he chooses an issue which people will assume he won’t support, and he runs with it.

    Whilst I’m glad we gay people are finally getting the recognition that although civil partnerships have been a great step forwards, they’re still not the same as marriage. Cameron HAS to support gay marriage, first off because Scotland is already in the process of legalising it and he’ll fall behind and look out of touch if he doesn’t, and the British public overwhelmingly (61%) support same-sex marriages. However, Cameron will NOT allow Gay marriages to be conducted in places of worship, or by religious figures, despite several religions saying that they would welcome the opportunity.

    Lets not also forget a few things about Prime Minister Cameron’s record on gay rights, shall we? He voted against gay equality several times, even recently in 2008. He appointed Theresa May, a well-known homophobe as the British EQUALITIES minister, and when the British public refused to accept her and wrote a several hundred thousand-strong petition, he then reappointed her as the Home Secretary. He also supported Phillipa Stroud to stand for a seat, the same woman who set up a church to “exorcise the homosexuality out of people”. Starting to doubt his new-found passion for Gay Equality? Starting to feel less secure about his sincerity? I hope so, because that man will say anything to get votes. He walked out of an interview with a gay magazine on gay equal rights just before the election. It’s actually pretty hilarious if you look it up.

    I was genuinely scared in the 2010 General election, because I was sure, and still am, that if the Conservatives had won a majority, there would have been the slow creeping of legislation that would repeal all the good work that the Labour party fought hard for, to introduce Gay equality, with the Conservatives fighting them every inch. 15 years ago it seemed impossible that today I would have the right to marry the man I love. Right now it’s impossible to say whether I will retain that right for another 15 years. David Cameron is only saying this to get votes. The rhetoric that he’s supporting it BECAUSE he’s conservative is complete bull – or was he simply not a conservative for all the other years he’s held office? Leapards don’t change their spots, tigers don’t change their stripes, and hiding just underneath that cheery pro-SSM facade is a homophobe who just likes power more than he hates Gays.

  16. Derek Pearce says

    Allan, when you write “Cameron will NOT allow Gay marriages to be conducted in places of worship, or by religious figures, despite several religions saying that they would welcome the opportunity,” what do you mean? The government in the UK has no say over what types of ceremonies are conducted in places of worship. It is purely a legal matter. Any religion may perfrom any SSM ceremony it wants free of government interference. I believe the UK will legalize marriage equality, and then the civil documents can be signed at said ceremonies.

  17. Allan in the UK says

    Derek, currently UK law means that Civil partnerships conducted in a religious building are not considered legal. After a Labour-run protest, Featherstone is now including the possibility to marry in churches in the consultation process, but many conservatives have already said that they are opposed, so it is unlikely to make it through. Particularly after the latest response from the Catholic church to gay marriage in Scotland.

    Cameron is in this for the votes, and he’ll trade what works for him off against what doesn’t, and with everything going on, he can’t risk a backbench revolt. It’s not about some new-found principle that because he’s a conservative he must suddenly introduce gay marriage (conveniently just before the 2015 General election, despite it being possible to legalise SSM in the UK within around 8 months), this is about him trying to soften his image and appear a progressive PM to women and minorities, despite the cuts and previous homophobic voting record.

  18. Phred says

    “Intelligent conservatives in the USA”? Wow, an example of that rarest of literary constructs – a triple oxymoron!

    Regardless of Mr. Cameron’s motives, the mere fact that he could make such a statement without it being immediate political suicide points to the differences between politics in the UK and those here in the US.

    While I’m straight, I’ve always empathized with the LGBT folks I know because I’m also atheist – another oppressed group. I know well what it’s like to have to hide your true self in the closet all your life.

    So even if Mr. Cameron doesn’t really mean it, at least he can say it without every religious leader in the country shooting him in the back, and some people may believe it is possible to be a “progressive conservative”. And maybe, just maybe, real political change could be occurring there. Wish I could say it was possible here, but I’ve all but given up hope.

  19. Avers says

    To those who think Cameron has left religion out of it, three points.

    1: Secularism is now a religion. Religion is not belief in God and not Christianity, and Secularists can be just as devout.

    2: David Cameron is not an Atheist. He is actually a Christian and even claims his Christianity motivates his support for Gay Rights. The idea that its “Religious people against Gays” is an oversimplification and the idea that Cameron has tossed aside his Faith is ludicrous.

    3: Cameron also doesn’t represent the Tory Party in full.