Questions have been raised over the promotion of a Conservative Minister, Nicky Morgan, who is against same-sex marriage.
During the high profile cabinet reshuffle which occurred earlier this month, it was announced that Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, would be promoted to Education Secretary while continuing in her current role as Minister for Women and Equalities.
However, questions have been raised about whether her views against same-sex marriage make her a suitable candidate for a ministerial post concerned primarily with promoting equality in society.
Ms Morgan, who was elected to Parliament in 2010 after a successful career as a city solicitor, voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act at its second and third reading last year, stating that: “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
The government have been quick to respond to questions raised over Morgan’s appointment, and have explained that another Minister, Nick Boles, will be in charge of implementing the new same-sex marriage legislation. Nick Boles who is himself gay and in a civil partnership, will become a junior Equalities Minister working under Ms Morgan and will be responsible for managing policies to do with same-sex marriage and LGBT equality.
Last week the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a Westminster media briefing: “As you will remember, there was a free vote on this issue, but it is now the law of the land.
“What matters in terms of gay marriage, which the Prime Minister very much supported, is that as a result of this Prime Minister it is on the statute book.”
“Marriage is between a man and a woman” – Nicky Morgan
The Minister explained her reasons for voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act to the Leicester Mercury last year: “First, this is a very big social change. There have been plenty of little changes down the years but what’s never been changed is that the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“I think that was one of the issues people, especially those who asked me to vote against, found hardest to accept and it also tied in with my own Christian faith too. I totally support civil partnerships and that same-sex relationships are recognised in law. But marriage, to me, is between a man and a woman.
“The second reason is that people have become a bit cynical about consultations about policy changes at national and local government level. And in this case, I felt the question was not whether the change should be made, but how it should be made and I think we forgot that step of asking if it should be made.
“And the third reason was legal aspects of the bill. For instance, if we have gay marriage, should civil partnerships now also be opened up to heterosexual couples too? Or should we just get rid of civil partnerships altogether?”