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

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.

3 comments

  • All this nonsense about "undermining marriage" reminds me of the Russian religious extremists who recently prosecuted Madonna for pro-gay comments at one of her gigs on the grounds that she was going to "prompt the divorce rate to skyrocket" and would "adversely affect Russia's birthrate and therefore its ability to maintain a proper army." In truth, it's nothing more or less than homophobic bigotry.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, November 26, 2012

  • I always wonder what people mean when they say that same sex marriage will undermine the more traditional view of marriage... its not as if the numbers of men and women getting married would drop as a result is it? I think its just a clear example of not valuing the union of same sex couples as highly as opposite sex couples... and that's the reason same sex couples are pushing for the equal status... so Ms Coffey is just proving their point for them.

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    Fat Lady Sings

    Monday, November 26, 2012

  • It's sad that MPs like Therese Coffey, (who in all other respects seems quite reasonable and well-informed) feels that they have to vote against a proposal that will not undermine anyone else's fundamental rights. *Civil* marriage, not religious marriage for same sex couples is what is being proposed and quite frankly, there is no good reason at all why the state should treat anyone differently because of their sexual orientation. Civil partnerships may provide all the same legal rights but why the hell shouldn't gay and lesbian couples be able to define their partners as husband or wife? The argument that changing the law to allow same sex marriage will hamper economic recovery is utter nonsense, and probably a cover for less savoury views I would imagine. Thankfully, the likes of Coffey, Freeman, Bellingham and Aldous seem to be in the minority (on this matter) on this occasion.

    Report this comment

    IpswichExile

    Monday, November 26, 2012

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