April 20, 2012 7.36 pm This story is over 139 months old

Backlash over Lincoln MP’s response to constituent’s gay marriage letter

Unpopular opinion: Karl McCartney is facing a number of complaints due to his opinion on gay marriages.

— Updated with video reaction from constituent in reply to MP’s letter

Lincoln’s Conservative MP is facing backlash after his response to a constituent’s letter regarding gay marriage was leaked online.

The constituent’s letter, obtained by The Lincolnite, asked Karl McCartney to support the government’s proposal to introduce same-sex marriage.

While McCartney stressed that he applauded the “changes made and achieved by the LGBT community in recent decades”, he felt that the marriage proposal would harm their progress.

He also wrote that the introduction of gay marriage would only affect a minority of people while “uprooting thousands of years of Christian tradition.”

McCartney finished his thoughts stating that by advocating same-sex marriages, changes in laws could end up leading to lowering the age of permitted marriage or allowing multi-partnership marriages.

The age in which a couple can be wed in the UK is 18, or 16 with parental consent.

He also argued that a majority of same-sex couples are happy with the current civil partnerships, so there is no need for the change.

McCartney mentioned that his conscience dictates that he should not canvass other MPs supporting gay marriage.

A statement from McCartney’s office said: “He recalls this maybe forms part of a complete letter that was sent to one of his constituents who he has been contacted by regarding this issue, but would not want you to take anything out of context.

“The original letter and complete response would give the full picture.”

The letter was passed on to politics website Political Scrapbook, where it was then picked up by websites such as The Huffington Post, and on Change.org, where a petition against his comments was set up.

McCartney is one of a number of MPs who do not support the plans for same-sex marriages, such as Tory MPs Fiona Bruce, Edward Leigh, David Nuttall and Stewart Jackson and Labour MPs Jim Dobbin and Joe Benton, some of which signed the 455,000-strong Coalition 4 Marriage petition.

The text of the constituent’s letter to McCartney:

A scan of McCartney’s response letter:

Video reaction from a constituent who received the same letter: