By Lord Carey, Mailonline

When David Cameron told his party’s conference last autumn about his plans to bring in gay marriage, he said that this was because he was a ‘Conservative’ and believed in ‘commitment’.
Like many others, I was baffled by this statement. Not because I begrudge rights and benefits to homosexual couples.

And certainly not because I have any great interest in the internal debates of the Conservative Party over what constitutes a true Conservative direction in policy – though ‘conserving’ things is definitely not what this policy is about.

For it threatens to fatally weaken what is still one of our country’s greatest strengths – the institution of marriage.

I was also baffled because this Government’s proposal constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history.

The state does not ‘own’ the institution of marriage. Nor does the church.

The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way.

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