news

Dominic Lawson defends Daily Mail column blaming same-sex marriage for Brexit

2016-07-01
Daily Mail columnist Dominic Lawson has defended a recent article in which he argues that same-sex marriage is responsible for Britain's withdrawal from the EU, saying people "have got the wrong end of the stick". Earlier this week, the brother of TV chef Nigella Lawson and son of former Conservative chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson wrote a column entitled 'Gay marriage and a bitter Brexit divorce', in which he put forward the view that "If it were not for David Cameron’s decision to legalise marriage between people of the same sex... Britain would not now be on her way out of the EU". Following a backlash from LGBT people to the comments, Lawson - who supported the introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales - contacted Attitude to clarify his remarks, explaining that he wasn't "hate-mongering", but simply attempting to argue that last week's EU referendum had been proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron to shore up support from Tory voters unhappy the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. "As someone who wrote columns for both the Independent and the Sunday Times in favour of equal marriage, I am surprised now to be accused of hate-mongering in connection with the issue," Lawson says. gaymarriage_2245445b The 59-year-old goes on to reiterate his original point that same-sex marriage was "inextricably linked" with Brexit, but clarifies this does not mean he holds LGBT themselves responsible. "In early 2013 David Cameron was panic-stricken by the large scale defections of Conservative Party Members to UKIP, expressly in protest against his move to legislate for Equal Marriage", he explains. "UKIP's leader Nigel Farage opportunistically exploited this disaffection to the full. So Cameron sought a way to reduce such defections and also to cut the ground from UKIP's most successful policy, which was an offer of an in or our referendum on the EU." He adds: "I was, and I hoped this was obvious, not saying that any - let alone all - of the more than 17 million who voted 'Leave' did so as a result of equal marriage." "I am mystified why anyone should think I was saying that." You can read Lawson's original column here. More stories: 10 years on: Why Queer as Folk US was essential viewing Tom Daley shares adorable picture of of Dustin Lance Black in bed as pair reunite in London