Cameron has decided that the marriage equality vote, when it happens (if it happens, since the Tory Chief Whip seems to think it’ll never come up for a vote), will be a free vote for the Tories.
That means he won’t be putting out the Whip. Or, every tory is free to vote how they wish without pressure from the party. This is because it’s a matter of “conscience”.
No, Davey boy, it’s a matter of rights. You lose major points there in deciding our rights are a matter for personal conscience. We are due equality, equality is about our status as full citizens. It is not a matter of “conscience” excepting only that denying us rights is unconscionable.
This does not hint at Tory support for our rights. This does not point to the Tories caring about our rights. This does not show the Tories as thinking our rights are important.
And shall we make a prediction? Looking at your party, I still see marriage equality passing – because the Labour, Lib Dems, and sufficient defector Tories will vote for it. But what kind of PR/Gay rights/we’re not homophobes victory is that?
All 3 parties said they’d back marriage equality – but only the Tories (and the coalition mini-mes who re obedient little tools) decided a consultation was needed. That already sets you points behind. The consultation has already revealed major flaws – including lack of religious marriages even for those denominations that want them.
But then you go to vote, there’s a free vote – and it passes because Labour and the Lib Dems save it from Tory opposition? Let’s be frank, if, when the votes are counted, it’s clear that the Coalition couldn’t have passed this without opposition support (or, in other words, it would have been scuppered by Tory homophobes if Labour don’t support it) then how does it end up being a victory for the Tories? How does it even make a gesture of cleansing towards unflinching Tory homophobia?
You end up with pretty speeches YOU COULDN’T FOLLOW UP ON. At the last hurdle you needed the other parties to actually pass your anti-homophobia record.