Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Suffolk: ‘Gay marriage could lead to court action’ says MP David Ruffley

09:00 27 November 2012

MP David Ruffley who opposes gay marriage

MP David Ruffley who opposes gay marriage

Archant

AN MP has warned that plans to allow gay marriage could lead to vicars getting sued if they refuse to carry out ceremonies on religious grounds.

shares

The comments from Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley come as David Cameron is pushing for changes in the law that would see marriage, currently defined as between a man and a woman, redefined to accommodate same-sex couples.

Mr Ruffley said he supported previous legislation to introduce civil partnerships that saw gay couples gain the same legal rights married couples have, but argued that marriage itself should not be tampered with.

He said: “Of course there are arguments on both sides, but I firmly believe that marriage is defined in the Judeo-Christian tradition as being between a man and a woman.

“I’m particularly concerned that if marriage is redefined then some members of the clergy who, for religious reasons, do not recognise gay marriage, may be open to litigation in the courts. Such litigation down the road is highly undesirable.

“Many members of the gay community who speak to me do not feel particularly strongly about gay marriage. They are content with the status they have in law already under civil partnerships.”

A House of Commons vote on the change could come as early as January, but already 118 out of 303 Conservative MPs, including Mr Ruffley and two others from Suffolk, have signalled they will rebel.

Mr Cameron has said he will allow his MPs to vote as they wish, but if his proposals were ditched it would be a significant personal defeat for the Prime Minister, who sees the issue as symbolic of attempts to modernise the Conservatives.

The other two MPs in the county who have said they would rebel are Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey and Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who said: “Broadly speaking I have expressed my concerns.

“The 2005 civil partnership legislation was much needed and addressed a particular issue with same-sex relationships, as they did not have equal footing in the eyes of the law.

“But as far as this consultation on new proposals, I have concerns that marriage is something that not just the state is involved in but religious organisations and the church.

“I feel uncomfortable with the state redefining the definition on marriage, as was proposed, and I have made the Government aware of my stance.”

Dr Coffey said: “I take a traditional view on marriage; it’s about commitment, but also primarily about family.”

shares

2 comments

  • I presume Ruffley would also moan if a racist church minister refused to marry a black couple? He seems to want a charter for bigots to pick and choose who they discriminate against.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • "I firmly believe that marriage is defined in the Judeo-Christian tradition as being between a man and a woman." Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the bible knows that biblical marriage also means one man and many women. Believing in the bible is a private matter, why should we legislate delusion into national law?

    Report this comment

    Bish Chan

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police requests to access personal communications hit 26,000 across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk last year. Stock image.

Essex Police has claimed the way it uses communications data is “firm and robust” after new figures revealed they requested to access private emails and phone records nearly 20,000 times over two years.

The residents of London Road coming together to forge a new sense of community in the film London Road which receives its first public screening in Ipswich at the beginning of June. The film, direcetd by Rufus Norris, stars Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson and Tom Hardy.

The writer of a film about Ipswich murderer Steve Wright has said she did not want to follow the same path as journalists and documentary makers.

An e-fit of the suspect.

A key witness has been traced in a major police investigation into a sex attack in Bury St Edmunds.

Welcome to summer, an almost deserted promenade at Felixstowe.

Despite a miserable start to the week, warm weather is still set to come to the region this weekend.

David Fackerell, 60, of Kendall Road, Colchester

Essex Police have called off the search for a man who went missing this afternoon from his home in Colchester after he was found safe and well.

Road closed due to fallen tree and power lines.

The A120 was closed between Coggeshall and Marks Tey yesterday after a fallen tree brought down power cables.

An 
Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Current Greater Anglia rail company Abellio faces a challenge from two former operators for the region’s new franchise which is due to start next year.

Firefighters attend Thetford blaze.

A man in his 40s has been taken to hospital after a fire in Thetford.

Liquid, Ipswich

Two men involved in a scuffle at an Ipswich nightspot have been ordered to carry out unpaid community work after pleading guilty to charges against them.

Elmswell Butchers have won awards at a national competition. L-R: Alastair Angus, Terry Clayden and John Simpson.

A west Suffolk butchers can boast some of the best bangers in the country after winning several awards at a national show for the second consecutive year.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages