Nick Clegg’s latest gaffe – in which he nearly branded opponents of gay marriage as ‘bigots’ in a speech – has caused calls for his resignation.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has waded in and deemed the deputy PM as ‘immature’ for his comments.
But is branding those opposing gay marriage as bigots (one of) the biggest political cowpats of his career, or has he got a point?
The issue of gay marriage has rarely left the headlines recently and generated a huge rift between supporters and opponents as the coalition government plans to legislate on gay marriage by the next general election.
The coalition government’s proposals drawn up earlier in the year state that gay couples will be able to get married in civil ceremonies but churches and religious organisations will not be forced into accepting gay marriage.
So why is the church so furious?
They claim gay marriage is immoral, they argue that so many cultures all around the world for centuries have defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman and refer to the 1662 Prayer Book and article 30 of the Church of England, both of which are Acts of Parliament and actually define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Critics remind religious groups that the Bible also teaches its followers that women are inferior to men, divorce is immoral, you must worship God like servants in a totalitarian state and that parliament can legislate easily to change the legal definition of marriage.
A lot of gay marriage supporters also ask the very simple question: Is a society just when it allows for a man and a woman with mutual contempt the right to marry yet denies it to a same-sex couple holding mutual respect for each other?
David Cameron appears to be running scared of these debates.
If he does introduce gay marriage will he alienate a huge proportion of Tory voters at the next election? Or will that be off-put by the large numbers of LGBT voters thanking him for achieving their biggest ambition?
Bearing in mind that Cameron supported section 28, opposed gay couples’ adoption rights and lesbian fertility treatment and seemed overly flustered in a disastrous interview with the Gay Times Interview in 2010; ask yourself if the Prime Minister really believes in gay marriage. And should something so important to the LGBT community be introduced by a non-believer?
Nick Clegg, to his credit, has remained firm on his support for gay marriage and will probably regard it as one of his greatest social reforms after House of Lords reform was dropped.
So, was the deputy Prime Minister correct in saying some opponents are bigots?
I’ll leave that for you to decide, but it’s fair to say neither side of the gay marriage argument are soft when it comes to dishing out insults, so why stop now?
Thanks to Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography for the picture.