Welsh Secretary David Jones: Gay parents cannot provide a ‘safe environment for the upbringing of children’

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Stonewall Cymru issued a statement on Friday expressing great sadness at the comments of David Jones, the Conservative Party’s Secretary of State for Wales.

When asked why he had voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February, in an interview to ITV Wales’ Face to Face programme, Mr Jones said: “I was one of two cabinet ministers who did vote against it and it was for various reasons. Certainly in constituency terms, I felt that overwhelmingly the constituents of Clwyd West were opposed to the change. But also  I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do. Which is not to say that I’m in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships.”

Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru said in response: “We’re saddened that the Secretary of State for Wales should make such an offensive and inaccurate remark. There are many different types of family in Wales today, including many same-sex couples raising children. It’s deeply undermining to families and children when they hear this sort of ill-informed comment.”

He added: “Fortunately, recent YouGov polling for Stonewall Cymru shows that the Secretary of State’s views are out of touch with the majority of people both in Wales and throughout Great Britain.”

In January, YouGov polled over 1,000 people across Wales for Stonewall Cymru’s Living Together, the first study of its kind to ask people in Wales their views on gay equality.

The poll revealed that more than four in five people in Wales (83%) said they believe it’s right to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay and bisexual people where they say it exists, and more than four in five people (85%) believe that lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be able to be open about their sexual orientation, in any circumstances.

Three in five people (62%) support the Westminster Government’s commitment to extend the legal form and name of civil marriage to same-sex couples.

Buildings belonging to the National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff Bay and Colwyn Bay have flown the Rainbow flag this month, in order to mark LGBT History Month.