MP Sarah Newton did not endorse "offensive" claims made by opponents of gay marriage
Opponents of gay marriage have been out on the streets in Cornwall to spread their message.
Activists for the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) group urged people in Truro, Camborne and Liskeard to lobby their MPs against plans to allow gay marriage in places of worship.
The proposals, introduced by the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition, would mark a major change from civil partnerships which have been able to take place since 2005.
C4M's national campaign director, Colin Hart, said: "Our local activists are fired up to make sure voters have their say. We have identified these three marginal Cornish seats as key, together with 62 others nationwide. MPs can expect local voters to be pressing them on where they stand on the redefinition of marriage.
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"These plans are unpopular and divisive. The voters were ignored by the politicians, this was in no party's manifesto and the public consultation was a sham. The Government should concentrate on reviving the economy and delivering better public services, that's what ordinary people want – not playing politics with marriage."
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, has said she personally supports proposals to allow gay marriage – but will let her constituents influence how she votes on the issue.
Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton has submitted a formal complaint to the campaign group Coalition for Marriage over leaflets distributed in her constituency.
This photo has been used without Mrs Newton's permission, and the MP said it gave the false impression that she was connected with the campaign.
Mrs Newton said the use of her picture had led to believe she endorsed the "offensive" claims made in the leaflet handed out in Cornwall.
She said: ''I am appalled that the Coalition for Marriage have chosen to use a photo of me without permission, apparently to give residents the impression that I support the claims made within their leaflet. I am further concerned that, despite a request to desist submitted by my office, the group are continuing to distribute these leaflets. ''Whilst I respect the right of individuals and groups to oppose equal marriage proposals, I condemn the language the Coalition for Marriage have used in their publication. This language falls short of the standards of respect and tolerance that all members of the community are entitled to, and has caused offence to a considerable number of my constituents."
Mrs Newton and the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, are holding public meetings in Truro to discuss gay marriage on Friday. A morning meeting will be held at Diocesan House, Kenwyn, Truro from 10am to midday and an evening meeting will be held at the Chapter House of Truro Cathedral from 6pm to 8pm.
FURTHER UPDATEIn response to Sarah Newton's concerns C4M national campaign director Colin Hart said: "As part of our campaign against the undemocratic government proposal we are urging ordinary people to contact their local MPs.
"We are doing this by delivering three million leaflets across 65 constituencies. We have used publicly available pictures and have included the contact details of the MPs to aid this process. "We have decided to take this action because no member of the public has ever been able to cast a vote on this issue as none of the main political parties included plans to redefine marriage in their manifesto, and just days before the General Election, David Cameron ruled out introducing gay marriage. "Given Mrs Newton's statements saying that she wanted to listen to the views of her constituents we fail to see what the problem is. We have written to Mrs Newton to reassure her about this matter, as she may have been misinformed about the nature of the leaflet."