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Voters tell MP of opposition to gay marriage
A WORCESTERSHIRE MP says he has been “inundated” with letters from voters demanding a bill for gay marriage be scrapped.
Mark Garnier told your Worcester News he has had “more than 200 letters” from constituents against the move, and only a couple in support.
The Wyre Forest MP said it was “the single biggest issue” he’s had to deal with since entering parliament in 2010.
Despite the furore he is likely to vote in favour of the bill, as long as it does not force churches into hosting marriages against their will.
“I am pretty relaxed about it, despite the fact I’ve been getting so many objections from the public,” he said.
“It’s a very divisive issue – an awful lot of people are furious about it, to be honest, and believe the whole idea of marriage is being re-defined.
“It’s right up there among the biggest topics I’ve ever had to deal with as an MP, and may well be the single biggest issue.
“I’ve had more than 200 letters against it and they are still drip feeding in.”
The bill will make it unlawful for the Church of England to host gay marriage ceremonies, but otherwise grant legal rights.
The watering-down measure, which was put forward after concerns from church leaders, means it is expected to be passed by parliament some time in 2013.
“The principle point I have made is that I don’t want any religious organisations forced into doing something against their will,” said Mr Garnier.
“As long as that is addressed to my satisfaction, I am not against the principle of it.
“I’ve got to be 100 per cent convinced, when it comes to the time to vote, but as long as that is the principle of it I am fairly relaxed.”
Worcester MP Robin Walker has taken the same stance, despite revealing it may prove unpopular with constituents.