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East Anglia: MPs criticised by gay rights activist

10:00 12 February 2013

Gay Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell

Gay Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell

A RENOWNED human rights campaigner has criticised five of the region’s MPs for voting against gay marriage, as new figures reveal that the number of same sex civil partnerships in Suffolk is increasing.

Peter Tatchell said that the bill, which cleared its first parliamentary hurdle last week, was of “symbolic importance” and said denying homosexual couples the right to get married was an insult.

Conservative MPs David Ruffley, Peter Aldous, Therese Coffey, Douglas Carswell and Priti Patel all opposed the bill, while Ben Gummer, Dan Poulter, Tim Yeo, Matthew Hancock and Sir Bob Russell voted in favour.

Mr Gummer said the state should not discriminate between heterosexual couples and gay couples while Dr Coffey said she wanted to “preserve family life.”

Mr Tatchell said: “I’m shocked that five East Anglian MPs support discrimination against gay people and do not believe that gay couples in love are worthy of marriage. It is deeply offensive and insulting.”

He added that he would continue to fight to enable heterosexual couples to be able to enter into civil partnerships.

Mr Tatchell said: “We should all be equal before the law, currently gay couples are banned from civil marriages and heterosexual couples are banned from civil partnerships. The Government’s legislation only ensures gay equality, not heterosexual equality. Civil partnerships are a separate legal system, separate is not equal.

The campaigner’s comments come as Suffolk County Council revealed that the number of civil partnerships has gone up over the last three years from 61 couples in 2010 to 68 couples in 2012.

6 comments

  • I maybe called a 'bigot, old-school, pawn or even 'narrow-minded'... however I find Mr Tatchell remarks... remembering free-speech... a discredit and absolutely out of tone... since five mp's had the freedom vote yes for this act of change.... then is it only 'right, proper and free' to vote against this act of change. As someone who 'knows the lifestyle'... I must state... Mr Tatchell needs to stop 'accusing others' of being 'bigots' and look to his own view of those who see 'differently'.

    Report this comment

    csiuk2007

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Live and let live! David Ruffley, Peter Aldous, Therese Coffey, Douglas Carswell and Priti Patel should be ashamed of themselves.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Peter Tatchell is hardly going to present a balanced view is he ?. My local MP said she had over 300 people contacting her expressing concern over the proposals and 10 in support. Simply democracy in action isn't it ? Like it or loath the the hetrosexual marriage has been the basis of our society for generations, its an institution that should be changed with great caution.

    Report this comment

    Danny Brown

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • I'd like to point out to Mr Tatchell that MPs have the right to vote however they see fit, in line with their own views and those of their constituents, and should be able to do so without the shrill whining of various activists. That's what's known as democracy. What would satisfy Mr Tatchell? A 100% vote in favour of his cause? He should be satisfied that the vote was carried. To demand absolute obedience is the stuff of totalitarian dicatorships.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Despite Mr Tatchell's best wishes this is still a free country with free speech and free thoughts. Just because you do not like somebody's views is not an excuse to attack their views. This was a free vote. We should respect all those who voted and not be trying to set up system where MP's are scared of voting for their's and their electors views.

    Report this comment

    David S

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Peter Tatchell is hardly going to present a balanced view is he ?. My local MP said she had over 300 people contacting her expressing concern over the proposals and 10 in support. Simply democracy in action isn't it ? Like it or loath the the hetrosexual marriage has been the basis of our society for generations, its an institution that should be changed with great caution.

    Report this comment

    Danny Brown

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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