(But she promises to support it now)
With a new Conservative government being formed at Westminster, the Prime Minister, David Cameron has appointed a new Equalities Minister for England, and his choice is Caroline Dinenage – who not only voted against Same Sex Marriage but took a strong stance against it in public.
In 2013 Ms Dinenage replied to a letter from a reader of Pink News in which she stated that marriage is defined in Canon Law as “one man, one woman”, that this definition is “distinctive”, that the state had no right to change that definition, nor was there any need for it in her opinion.
Ms Dinenage stated in her letter, “As you may know, as the established Church, its own Canon Law is part of the law of the land and one of its canons states that marriage is in its nature a union of “one man and one woman”.
She continued, “I therefore believe that the institution of marriage is distinctive and the State has no right to redefine its meaning – these proposals were not included in any of the three main manifestoes nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. As I have mentioned, under current law same-sex couples can have a civil partnership but not a civil marriage and I believe that there is no legitimate reason to change this.”
Ms Dinenage subsequently also voted against same-sex marriage in the last parliament.
Caroline Dinenage is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gosport. In 2013 the MP, who is also a mother of two children, left her husband and entered a relationship with fellow Conservative MP, Mark Lancaster. Lancaster walked out on his wife of 12 years, Katherine, in 2007 and moved in with Journalist Amanda Evans. 18 months later he left Evans, just four months after the birth of their baby daughter, and entered a relationship with election agent Kathryn Buckie, but their relationship soured. After Dinenage and Lancaster entered into relationship in 2013, the pair married in February 2014.
Strangely enough, for all her moral outrage against same-sex marriage, Caroline Dinenage has never once made any mention on what the Bible has to say about a wife disobeying her husband, divorce, adultery, and sex outwith marriage, all four of which she has participated in.
With her new appointment however, Ms Dinenage claims to have had a change of heart. She told Pink News that she is now “fully committed” to LGBT equality and that she was “looking forward” to her new post.
Caroline Dinenage stated “I know that some of your readers will be concerned about my voting record on same-sex marriage however, I want to be clear – I am fully committed to advancing the cause of LGBT equality and support the law on same-sex marriage.
“I’m proud that the UK has just been named the most progressive country in Europe for LGB & T rights for the fifth year running, but as the new minister for equalities I know there’s no room for complacency.
“That is why I’m particularly looking forward to taking forward this government’s work on tackling homophobic bullying in schools and implementing our manifesto commitment to introducing a new law that will build on the posthumous pardon for Alan Turing by erasing the historic convictions of those who would be completely innocent of any crime today.
“I’ll be meeting with LGBT organisations such as Stonewall as soon as possible to discuss this Government’s priorities for this parliament.”
I for one shall believe it when I see it – and I’m not holding my breath. Right away I am concerned at the lack of “Q” and “I” in that statement. At least the Scottish Parliament has extended their definition to “LGBTI”.
It also may interest Ms Dinenage to learn that while boasting “the UK has just been named the most progressive country in Europe for LGB & T rights for the fifth year running”, it was actually Scotland, which she will have no remit over (thank goodness) which led the league table, with 92%, while the rest of the UK achieved 86%. One can only wonder if England would have achieved that figure had Ms Dinenage’s appointment been known when IGLA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) drew up this year’s “Rainbow Index”? I sincerely doubt it.
Meanwhile in a poll in Pink News, over 90% of readers have voted that Caroline Dinenage should never have been appointed Equalities Minister.
During the UK General Election, Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said of Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, “You wouldn’t get Herod to run a baby farm, would you?” Where England’s LGBTQI community are concerned, it seems to me that Boris’s old school chum and Conservative Party leader, David Cameron has just done precisely that.