Opponents of gay marriage are facing intolerance in the ongoing debate over a change in the law, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Lord Carey has been engaged in an increasingly emotive war-of-words with justice minister Nick Herbert, who recently wrote that people would see religious objections to gay marriage as "judgmental or intolerant".
Responding to the comments in the Times, Lord Carey said supporters of traditional marriage were facing the same intolerance as that claimed by gay campaigners.
"This debate is not about the dignity and rights of gay and lesbian people, who already have the benefits of marriage through civil partnerships, but about a change in the definition of marriage for everyone," he wrote.
"It is in fact the supporters of traditional marriage who have been accused of bigotry and homophobia — the kind of intolerant and judgmental language he talks about in his interview."
He also said the public were alienated from the Conservative party because of its decision to launch the gay marriage consultation without any mention of the move in its manifesto.