The Conservative MP for Norwich North, Chole Smith, has
expressed her support for changing the law to allow gay couples to
have a civil marriage - and for heterosexual couples to have civil
Currently they are prohibited by law.
Smith made her commitment when she spoke in a Question Time panel
discussion at Norwich Gay Pride on Saturday 30 July. She shared a
platform with gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.
Tatchell challenged Smith, asking: "Do you support an end to the
twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil
Smith responded with an emphatic: "Yes". The audience of 200
people erupted in tumultous applause.
Commenting on Smith's public commitment to opening up civil
marriages and civil partnerships to all couples, without
discrimination based on sexual orientation, Tatchell said:"Chloe's
support is much appreciated. She received a very warm and
enthusiatic response from the audience. I think many were
surprised. She is one of the very few Tory MPs to support gay civil
marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships. The Mayor of London,
Boris Johnson, endorses the right of gay couples to marry, but
David Cameron, George Osborne and most Conservative MPs are still
resisting calls for equality.
"I hope Ms Smith's endorsement will embolden other Tory MPs to
support full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership
After addressing the crowd in Chapelfield Gardens and the
subsequent Pride, Smith commented: "I was proud to see the LGBT
community joined by so many from Norwich in supporting gay pride
during a day of music, colour.I was delighted to spend time talking
to so many people about their experiences of being gay, bisexual or
transgender in our society today.
"While it's clear that much progress has been made in recent
years, there is still work to be done and in my capacity as local
MP, I will continue to stand up for LGBT rights wherever I