Archbishop attacks Cameron's 'gay marriage' plan David Cameron is facing a backlash from religious leaders after saying he supported plans to legalise gay marriage. David Cameron and his wife Samantha embrace after his keynote speech Photo: GETTY The Prime Minister said "commitment" in relationships should be valued regardless of whether it involved "a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and another man". But the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church of England are likely to lodge formal objections to the move when the Coalition launches an official consultation next year. Speaking to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Mr Cameron said: "We're consulting on legalising gay marriage. To anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it's about equality, but it's also about something else: commitment. "Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. "So I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative." RELATED ARTICLES ONS: rise in civil partnerships being dissolved 07 Jul 2011 Gay couples will be allowed to marry under Coalition plan 17 Feb 2011 Under Coalition reforms, churches, synagogues and other faith centres will be able to host same-sex civil partnership registration ceremonies for the first time, including the use of religious music. Ministers will begin a separate consultation on whether to redefine civil "marriage" to include same-sex couples in the spring. The gay rights group Stonewall and other campaigners for homosexual equality welcomed Mr Cameron's words. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, who is in a civil partnership, said on Twitter: "I hear Cameron backed gay marriage. If so I warmly applaud him." However, the Prime Minister was immediately criticised by Christian leaders. The Most Rev Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark and one of the most senior Roman Catholics in the country, said the state must not attempt to redefine marriage. "Whilst we welcome the Prime Minister's support of marriage, family life and especially the care of children, the proposed redefinition of marriage cannot be right," he said. "Marriage by its very nature is between a man and a woman and it is the essential foundation of family life. The state should uphold this common understanding of marriage rather than attempting to change its meaning." The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, the Rt Rev Kieran Conry, warned that Mr Cameron would not be given "an easy ride on this". "I think the Church will have to do something. We can't just let this slide by and say we are not interested," he said. "It is the question of protecting the particular, specific institution of marriage and its specific character as the permanent union of a man and a woman who would then bring up their own children." Bishop Conry stressed that the Catholic Church supported civil partnerships, which confer the same rights to gay couples as marriage, because they give better legal protection to individuals in matters including inheritance. However, he questioned the need to allow homosexual couples to use the term "marriage". The Church of England is also likely to oppose the reforms. In response to the Prime Minister's speech, a spokesman for the Church of England said: "The Church's view remains of marriage as the life-long union between a man and a woman." Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, said Prime Minister's attempt to redefine marriage would have "catastrophic consequences" for society. "The complementary union of a man and a woman in marriage is where love, life, stability and the full flourishing of society begins. He ignores this fundamental principle at his peril." Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance said: "In seeking to re-define marriage David Cameron may have kept the coalition happy, but may also have signalled the end of conservatism. If you can't conserve the institution of marriage, what can you conserve? Archbishop attacks Cameron's 'gay marriage' plan - Telegraph [h=2]fricans rage against UK's David Cameron[/h] [FONT=arial, sans-serif][/FONT]Mabvuto Phiri, AfricaNews reporter in Lusaka, Zambia Several African nations are responding with anger after UK Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to slash one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support to countries that refuse to reform laws which criminalize homosexuality. In Malawi, Government and religious leaders say it was unfortunate for UK Prime Minister David Cameron to say that the country and other Commonwealth nations receiving British aid should respect gay rights. Cameron said after Commonwealth summit that his administration would use the budget support to ensure that human rights abuses against homosexuals come to an end. Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said it was "unfortunate" for Britain to have "pro-gay strings" to aid. According to Nyasa times, Homosexual acts are illegal in Malawi and noted that these laws are a legacy of British rule. During BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Cameron threatened to withhold UK aid from countries including Malawi that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality, adding that nations receiving UK aid should "adhere to proper human rights." "Britain is one of the premier aid givers in the world," Cameron said. "We want to see countries that receive our aid adhering to proper human rights." Cameron hinted that Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana could be the first victims of the policy change. Malawi has already had some of its budget support suspended over concerns about its attitude to gay rights. UK Prime Minister's threat applies only to one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support, and would not reduce the overall amount of aid to any one country. President Bingu wa Mutharika, who attended the Commonwealth summit, defends Malawi laws for the criminalisation of sexual orientation when he adopted Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's lingo, describing gays as worse than dogs. He has the backing of Malawi Council of Churches as it argues that while Malawi needed aid, it was against donor countries calling for the legalisation of same sex marriages as the practice was a contradiction with the teachings of God, Malawi's rich traditions, culture and a threat to the family unit. MCC chairperson Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe, Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) chairperson the Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) secretary Father George Buleya told reporters in Lilongwe that they were not happy with UK position on gay rights. Bvumbwe said British Prime Minister's statements were "unfortunate" and they regard them as "unacceptable and provocative." Cameron said he had spoken with "a number of African countries" and that more pressure had been applied by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who deputised for him during parts of the summit. Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality. Many of these laws are a legacy of British Empire laws. And Ghana's Trade and Industry Minister, Hannah Tetteh insists same sex relationships are unacceptable in African cultural set-ups and no amount of threats would make Ghana kowtow to UK's threat while interacting with a section of the media in Accra on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda accused Mr Cameron of showing an "ex-colonial mentality" and of treating Ugandans "like children."