U.K. Prime Minister: "I Support Gay Marriage"

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 06 2011 6:44 PM ET

In
what might be viewed as a contradictory statement here in the United States, U.K. prime minister David Cameron said he supports same-sex marriage precisely
because he is a conservative. 

His comments were made while speaking
to the Conservative Party in Manchester, England, on Wednesday.

"I stood before a conservative conference once and I said it shouldn't matter whether a commitment is between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and woman. And you applauded me," he said. "Five years on, we are consulting on legalizing gay marriage, and to anyone who has reservations, I say this: yes, it's about equality. But it's also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society's stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. So I don't support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a conservative."

While
government officials in the U.K. are set to begin discussions on legalizing gay
marriage by March of 2012, some religious leaders have lashed out at Cameron for
attempting to redefine the concept of marriage altogether.

Peter
Smith, a senior archbishop in England said, "Whilst we welcome the prime minister's support of marriage, family life, and especially the care of
children, the proposed redefinition of marriage cannot be right."

England's
two major parties, Labour and Cameron's own Conservative, have long been
criticized for remaining silent on the marriage equality issue.

Representatives
from both parties however, have recently come out in support of marriage
equality. Chris Bryant, a Labour MP who is in a civil partnership himself,
tweeted, "I hear Cameron backed gay marriage, if so I warmly applaud
him."