Peter Tatchell: How can Nicky Morgan be Minister for Women when she’s against lesbians marrying?

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has criticised David Cameron for appointing Nicky Morgan as Minister for Women due to her opposition over equal marriage.

In a government reshuffle on Wednesday, sparked by the resignation of Maria Miller, Ms Morgan, MP for Loughborough, was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women.

Conservative MP Sajid Javid, the new Culture Secretary, has replaced Maria Miller as the most senior minister responsible for equalities in the UK Government.

But unlike Ms Morgan, Mr Javid, MP for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, voted in favour of the same-sex marriage act for England and Wales.

Ms Morgan voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act at second and third reading last year, saying “there have been plenty of little changes down the years but what’s never been changed is that the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

“The appointment of a minister who voted against equal marriage sends the wrong signal,” Peter Tatchell told “David Cameron has gone to great lengths to draw a line under past conservative government homophobia. This appointment undermines his efforts and will give comfort to the opponents of LGBT equality.”

“No government should be appointing a minister to any department if they do not support equality for all the people of the UK. “

“How can Nicky be an effective and fully inclusive Minister for Women if she doesn’t support the right of lesbian women to marry their partners?”

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero told PinkNews that Ms Morgan must represent all women “regardless of sexuality”. 

In the reshuffle Conservative MP Helen Grant remains as a junior Equalities Minister along with Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson – who is currently being covered on maternity leave by Lib Dem MP Jenny Willott.

Helen Grant and Jo Swinson both voted in favour of equal marriage. Ms Willott was absent at second and third reading as she was on maternity leave.

At the time Ms Willott stressed she would have voted in favour of the legislation had she been in the Commons.

Ms Willott voted in favour of several technical amendments to the act in March 2014.

Maria Miller, former culture secretary, resigned from government this morning following sustained political and media criticism for over claiming on expenses.

The Basingstoke MP was the minister responsible for steering same-sex marriage through the House of Commons last year.