Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

Bradley Wiggins, far left, riding through Woodbridge during the first stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain spectators will get to see champion rider Sir Bradley Wiggins racing through Suffolk again when it comes to county this month.

Art on the Prom at Felixstowe last year

More than 100 artists will be exhibiting this weekend as Felixstowe stages one of its most popular events of the year.

One of the new metal art trees in bury has been damaged. St Andrew's Street South.

A metal sculpture in a central Bury St Edmunds street now resembles a dandelion blowing in the wind following an accident involving a truck.

Police at the scene of the alleged attack.

The jury in the trial of two men accused of being involved in a plot to throw acid over a 22-year-old Suffolk beautician has retired to consider its verdicts.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

A man has died at The Port of Felixstowe.

Investigators say their inquiries into the death of a contract worker at the Port of Felixstowe could take some time to complete.

A large farming trailer carrying potatoes has overturned on the B1102 between Freckenham and Worlington.

The B1102 in Freckenham is blocked after a trailer load of potatoes overturned.

The opening of the new petanque bowls piste at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew - Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Phillip Dunnett with parish clerk and member of the centre committee Debbi Tayler

More than 30 people turned out for the opening of a boules rink at The Riverside Centre on Saturday.

Mr Wilson

Fire crews put out a car fire in Clacton today after passers by rescued a dog from the vehicle.

Traffic chaos caused by flooding on the A143 near Bury St Edmunds.

The final summer bank holiday of the year was a wash out, causing traffic chaos in parts of Suffolk, with roads flooding and cars getting stuck.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages