A new creative art space for Shropshire-based artistic entrepreneurs will be launched at The John Rose Studios in Coalport this month.
North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson opposes gay marriage
North Shropshire MP and Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson has revealed he does not support same-sex marriage.
In responding to a letter from constituent, the Conservative cabinet minister wrote “Having considered this matter carefully, I am afraid I have come to the decision not to support gay marriage.”
In a letter dated last week, Mr Paterson added “However, the government is rightly committed to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has already taken action to do so by allowing those religious premises that wish to carry out civil partnerships to do so, erasing historic convictions for consensual gay sex and putting pressure on other countries that violate the human rights of LGBT people.
“The prime minister has made clear that he supports equal civil marriage and the government is rightly consulting widely on this issue before making any changes to the current position. I am worried that this will be a disappointing response.”
Andrew Smith, the North Shropshire constituent whose appeal for support the senior Tory rejected, said his MP’s stance was illogical.
“It is bizarre that a cabinet minister can praise his Government’s progress on LGBT equality in the same letter that he tells me he won’t support my right to marriage equality. He is clearly unsympathetic to the needs that LGBT youth in rural communities have for leaders who stand up for equality,” he told PoliticsHome.
The north Shropshire MP is the third Tory minister to oppose equal marriage, after Philip Hammond and Tim Loughton came out against the measure earlier this month, and after the defence minister, Gerald Howarth blamed the measure for the election losses suffered by Tories in the recent local elections.
David Cameron has personally championed the change, which is out for public consultation, but is under pressure from backbench Tories to drop the move.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has given a firm promise that the Government will bring in a law to allow gay marriage despite a growing campaign to derail it by Conservative MPs. In a warning to opponents, the Deputy Prime Minister said it is a matter of “how, not whether” same-sex marriage is legalised.