Tory equalities minister who voted against gay marriage now ‘fully committed’ to LGBT rights

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The new Tory Minister for Equalities who voted against same-sex marriage and previously said the state has “no right” to redefine marriage, has said she “supports the law on same sex marriage.”

Caroline Dinenage, the MP for Gosport, was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron today as the Parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice and the minister for equalities at the Department for Education.

In 2013, she told a PinkNews reader that the “state has no right” to redefine its meaning of marriage and that “preventing same-sex couples from being allowed to marry takes nothing away from their relationship.”

Caroline Dinenage has now told PinkNews: “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.”

A previous appointment to the equalities office also proved controversial, as now Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan also voted against same-sex marriage.

The Tory MP for Loughborough, who retained her seat in last week’s general election, was controversially appointed to the equalities post in July last year – despite voting against same-sex marriage.

Mrs Morgan has since become a supporter of LGBT rights, telling PinkNews in October that she would “probably” vote in favour of same-sex marriage if she could do so again.