MPs divided on the gay marriage issue

Should we respect this country’s Christian heritage and accept that marriage is a union between a man and a woman – or endorse proposed legislation to allow same sex couples to wed in church?

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous is totally opposed to the idea.

He claimed in Parliament it would be “directly contrary to what Jesus said about marriage in Mark chapter 10 and Matthew chapter 19.”

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He added as a Christian, he could not vote for the measure: “But I do not want to see homosexual people discriminated against in any way.

“Civil partnerships offer same sex couples all the rights of marriage.”

Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries has a far more relaxed approach.

She said: “The proposals have the potential to extend the consolidation of family life to a group who have been consistently excluded and discriminated against through history.

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“This would have the effect of bringing stability to more couples and children, and therefore society as a whole.”

But the controversial MP, who was suspended from the Parliamentary Conservative Party when she took part in a reality TV show, is concerned that the government is wasting time defending plans for gay marriage: “The vast majority are more concerned about the economy, inflation and increasing fuel prices.”

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker said although the Bill was widely expected to pass on a free vote he would probably abstain “because of concerns about safeguards for religious institutions.”

Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins was unavailable for comment as the Herald went to press but the topic made for some lively debate on our Facebook page.

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Vikki Dodd is definitely in favour. She said: “It shouldn’t matter who you fall in love with, or who you want to spend the rest of your life with.”

Steve Nolan thinks it’s a cynical Tory ploy to win over a minority while Roger Fensome asks: “Ain’t we got more important things to worry about?”