By Charles Moore, Telegraph

[…]  The orthodoxy in favour of gay marriage is an iron one if you are well off, well educated, live in central London and wish to hold political or public office. By adhering to it, Mr Cameron ensures that he will not be insulted in BBC studios or at Downing Street receptions for the creative industries. It does not follow, however, that it is a legislative priority for the general public, or the way by which they judge a politician’s virtue. If you talk to the wider public, you get a very different perspective.

Just as people question the motives of public figures whom they suspect of being, in the old phrase, queer-bashers, so they dislike being preached at in favour of gay rights. Most people offer tolerance, but then find that their “betters” insist on approval. Woe betide a publicly funded church school, for example, which tries to maintain traditional Christian teaching about sexual behaviour. Gay rights reformers often accuse the churches of being “obsessed with sex”, but the same criticism can be made of them. The number of civil partnerships contracted in this country is less than one per cent of the number of marriages each year. You can sell to most people the proposition that such small minorities should be fairly treated. You will encounter sales resistance if you insist they be allowed to redefine something which belongs to us all. That something, in this case, is marriage. And on the “what matters to voters” index, which rightly worries modernisers, marriage comes high; the precise situation of homosexuals comes low.

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