ONE of Worcester Conservative Party’s leading figures has hit out at gay marriage - saying it will “confuse children” and “weaken family ties.”

Andrew Grant, the president of Worcester Conservatives, has also accused his own party’s ministers of being “arrogant” in trying to get it approved.

Tomorrow MPs across the country will take a crunch vote on The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which will allow gay people to legally tie the knot.

The proposed legislation has already been watered down after pressure from the Church of England, and gives religious establishments the right to refuse to host a ceremony.

Mr Grant, who is also an estate agent and former High Sheriff of Worcestershire, says it would be “serious neglect” by the Government if forced through.

His two-page letter, which has been sent to Worcestershire MPs, says it is “natural law” for marriage to be between a man and woman, and appeals for them to vote against it.

He said: “The passing of the bill will undoubtedly create a collision between the state and those practising Christians as well as other faiths.

“Children will be confused over the issues because it is only natural for a husband and wife to love their children following their marriage, and children their parents.”

He also claims teachers “would not wish to read stories of same sex people becoming married” to children, putting them at risk of the sack if they refuse.

It comes despite education secretary Michael Gove saying there is no prospect of teachers losing their jobs over the issue.

He added: “It will undoubtedly weaken family ties and lead to legal battles for those from Christians and those of other faiths and others who oppose the bill.

“I cannot over emphasise how children will suffer.

“They surely should have a special place with a loving husband and wife. This would be a serious neglect by the Government.”

David Cameron is facing the prospect of up to 180 of his own MPs either abstaining or voting against the bill, although it is expected to be passed with help from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Worcester MP Robin Walker, Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff and the Wyre Forest’s Mark Garnier have all previously backed it.

Mr Walker said: “Andrew is someone I respect enormously, I’ve listened to his views but this is legislation I am prepared to support.

"I do think, with proper concern to religious groups and freedom of conscience, this can go forward.

"I do hope to take part in the debate and will be saying I hope the Government gives proper assurances to the people who are concerned about it, but supporting the bill, in my view is the right thing to do."

Mr Luff added: "Andrew has made his views clear and although I respect it, sadly we are not able to agree on this issue.

"I want to make sure there is protection for churches and teachers, but I think the bill does that and I support the principle of it."

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has yet to make her mind up and wants the debate to unfold first.