The survey of Tory constituency chairmen, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, finds that 71 per cent think the proposal – which the Prime Minister has pledged will be law by 2015 – should be abandoned.
Nearly half the chairmen claim their local parties have lost members as a result of the plans, while only three per cent say they have gained membership.
Ministers have vowed to press on after a consultation on proposals to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales and to enable existing civil partners to “convert” into a civil marriage.
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