Leadsom says there has been ‘very clear hurt caused to many Christians who felt marriage in the Church can only be between a man and a woman’.
The only candidate to have never been in the Cabinet, Leadsom emerged during the EU referendum campaign as a leading voice in the Brexit camp and in just a matter of weeks we’ll have a new Conservative leader to serve as our unelected Prime Minister.
The only thing we can say about the next Prime Minister for certain is that they’re hardly going to be a champion for gay rights.
In 1998, Theresa May voted against equalising the age of consent for gay sex and voted against repealing Section 28 – legislation that banned the “promotion” of homosexuality by local government and schools. She also said no to same sex adoption and no to civil partnerships.
Andrea Leadsom, the MP for South Northamptonshire, had ‘positively abstained’ on the equal marriage legislation in 2013, voting both for and against same-sex marriage.
She told ITV News: “I believe that the love of same-sex couples is every bit as valuable as that of opposite-sex couples.
“But nevertheless, my own view is that marriage in the biblical sense is very clearly, from the many, many Christians who wrote to me on this subject, in their opinion, can only be between a man and a woman. I don’t agree with them, to be specific.
“But what I do think is that I would have preferred civil partnership to be available to heterosexual and gay couples and for marriage to have remained as a Christian service for men and women who wanted to commit in the eyes of God.
“Civil partnerships are called marriage as well. The concern I had was the potential compulsion for the Church of England. I don’t think the Anglican church should be forced down a route when many Christians aren’t comfortable about it.”
Yesterday, Leadsom was linked to a gay “cure” group in Uganda, with which she helped organise an exchange project.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper has said she is “particularly worried” Andrea Leadsom would “roll back the clock” on LGBT issues.
The MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford made the comments at Stonewall’s education for all conference today.