Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans for same-sex marriage have unnecessarily upset “vast numbers of people”, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
Mr Hammond said there was a “real sense of anger” among voters over the Government’s legislation to allow gay weddings.
He said there was no great demand in the country for change and criticised the amount of parliamentary time devoted to the issue.
“ I have just never felt that this is what we should be focusing on,” he told BBC1’s Question Time. “This change does redefine marriage. For millions and millions of people who are married, the meaning of marriage changes.
“There is a real sense of anger among many people who are married that any government thinks it has the ability to change the definition of an institution like marriage.”
He said the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005 had dealt with the “very real disadvantage” that gay couples faced in the past, adding: “There was no huge demand for this and we didn’t need to spend a lot of parliamentary time and upset vast numbers of people in order to do this.”