I am what would be described as a modern Conservative I joined under David Cameron's leadership after beginning my political life as a young Blairite supporter in the Labour Party. I joined the party after seeing David Cameron and others vision for the future, a Conservative Party built around opening up the party's values to all, uniting people across society from all backgrounds behind the Party's core values of success built on hard work, economic restraint, fairness and liberty.
The Equal Marriage debate symbolises the future of the party it takes the traditional institution of marriage one that all conservatives value and says "no one should be denied the benefits it brings to people's relationships". The policy is about extending the benefits of conservative policy and perspectives to the modern society and the world we find ourselves in today. When I speak to other conservatives young and old who are looking to our future this is the direction they see the party going if we are to maintain our broad church, reach out to wider society and ensure its conservative values that our society is built on this is the road we need to travel.
A modern vision for the party is far from turning our back on the party's old values and supporters but enhancing and extending them to all voters. That is why the idea of extending civil partnerships is one that doesn't fit this agenda. It would be to set up an alternative to marriage akin to re branding Christmas as a winter wonderland celebration. The bill before parliament aims to enhance and promote marriage, it is as conservative a institution and concept as it gets. Where as ironically the suggestion to create a parallel institution to this one of Civil Partnerships for all would suggest marriage isn't necessarily the best option for relationships and be at odds with the core conservative value of marriage directly.
Its time as Conservatives we looked forward, the future of the party stands on the right side of history on equal marriage and I'm proud I intend to be part of that future.