At Telegraph UK, "Conservative party ripped apart by gay marriage vote":
The full scale of this week’s revolt by Conservative MPs against David Cameron’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage became clear on Saturday.
The Sunday Telegraph has established that around 180 Conservative MPs, most notably including six whips and up to four members of the Cabinet, are ready to defy the Prime Minister’s plan to legalise gay weddings.Sounds like homo marriage not going over too well, eh mate?
Meanwhile, 25 chairmen or former chairmen of Conservative party associations across the country have signed a letter to Mr Cameron warning that the policy will cause “significant damage” to the Tories’ 2015 general election campaign.
One chairman, who has quit over the issue, said “this is a policy dreamt up in Notting Hill”, while a serving chairman said it had angered the grassroots more than Europe.
The vote on Tuesday is the first parliamentary vote on the gay marriage legislation and a test for the Prime Minister. However Downing Street now expects that only around 120 of Mr Cameron’s MPs will vote in favour of legalising homosexual unions. This leaves around 180 Conservative members likely to abstain or vote against. They include:
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, and David Jones, the Welsh Secretary, both expected to vote against.
Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, who will either vote against or abstain, while Iain Duncan Smith is expected to abstain, although a source close to the welfare secretary suggested that it was still possible he may side with the Government.
At least half of the Tories’ 12-man whips’ office, relied on by Mr Cameron to enforce party discipline. They are Stephen Crabb, David Evennett, Robert Goodwill, Mark Lancaster, Nicky Morgan and John Randall.
Senior party members including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Liam Fox and Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, who will not back the Bill.
Junior ministers including Mike Penning, John Hayes and Jeremy Wright. Mr Wright, a justice minister, said: “I will listen to the arguments in favour on Tuesday, but I am not persuaded by what I have heard so far.”
The Prime Minister has spoken passionately about allowing same-sex couples to marry, suggesting that such unions are in keeping with Conservative values.
Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, who is overseeing the Bill, has said that the proposed legislation includes a “quadruple lock” to ensure that no church or other religious institution is forced to marry a same-sex couple. And last night Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary – a close ally of the Prime Minister – issued a strongly-worded defence of the plan.
He said: “Religious freedom is not just for heterosexuals – we should not deny anyone the right to make a lifelong commitment to another person in front of God if that is what they believe and that is what their church allows.”