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East Anglia: Suffolk and Norfolk MPs ready to revolt over same sex marriage move

PUBLISHED: 12:08 26 November 2012

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey

Archant

MPs in Suffolk and Norfolk are ready to rebel over plans to make same sex marriage legal.

The prime minister has promised to legislate to allow gay couples to marry in civil ceremonies, with the proposed change in the law expected to be voted on in the New Year.

But David Cameron is facing a revolt from his own party, as lobby group Coalition For Marriage, which supports traditional marriage, revealed 118 out of 303 Conservative MPs had contacted constituents to express concerns about the proposals.

Among the 118 named by the group were Therese Coffey, who represents Suffolk Coastal, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, and Waveney MP Peter Aldous.

Dr Coffey said: “It’s certainly, in our party, a free vote but it’s fair to say I won’t be in the same lobby as the Prime Minister.

“I just have a fairly traditional view of marriage.”

Mr Freeman said: “I was a strong supporter of civil partnerships, but I’m concerned about undermining marriage between man and woman as the basis of family, and about the potential distraction of this controversial measure at a time when we need to be united in our focus on economic recovery.”

Mr Aldous said he would vote against the bill as it is currently suggested, but is waiting to see the results of a consultation process.

He said: “The civil partnership act of 2004 was good legislation and addressed the drawback that people in same sex relationships were confronted in the eye of the law. I personally feel uncomfortable with the state re-defining marriage and that is the view I have expressed.”

Mr Bellingham was not available for comment.

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