Britain’s Conservatives Back The Freedom To Marry

In the Sunday Telegraph yesterday, a group of Tory leaders in Britain reiterated their strong support for marriage for all:

The group, which unites under the slogan “Freedom to Marry”, contains some of the party’s biggest beasts, including Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, and Michael Gove, the Education Secretary. Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, who is a Catholic, has also signed up.

Signatories share David Cameron’s view that churches should be allowed to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies but should not be forced to do so if they do not wish to. In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, announcing the formation of the group, 19 senior Tories declare: “Marriage should be open to all, regardless of sexuality. We recognise that civil partnerships were an important step forward in giving legal recognition to same sex couples. But civil partnerships are not marriages, which express a particular and universally understood commitment.”

Boris' backing, along with Cameron's clear and passionate commitment, is critical, it seems to me. There is some backlash on the Tory right, and the big danger is that the House of Lords – filled with what George Will called old people – could try and throw its weight around. But the arguments are clear. Even on the American right. And conservatism in its best incarnation is winning.