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MP Peter Luff backs gay marriage bill
4:40pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
DROITWICH Spa’s MP voted in favour of the Government’s same sex marriage bill when it was put before the House of Commons.
MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by a margin of 400 to 175, with a majority of 225 on February 5.
Amongst those voting for the bill was Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.
But more Conservative MPs voted against the bill than in favour, 136 to 126, with 41 abstentions.
MPs were given a free vote on the bill, which meant party whips did not order them to vote a particular way.
Mr Luff said: “I am clear we should encourage and celebrate the public declaration of loving commitment that is expressed in marriage. Society is stronger and individuals are happier as a result of such commitment.
“This has not been an easy decision because I genuinely respect the deeply held feelings of many of my older constituents. I have, however, concluded that the right thing to do is to celebrate loving commitment between adults, and that makes a vote for the principle of the bill the only course of action I can take.
“I recognise the specific concerns that churches and teachers who strongly oppose this change may feel inadequately protected, but I have received strong reassurances from the minister responsible on these issues. I am confident that full protection will be possible within the legislation.”
Although the bill was supported at second reading stage, it now faces further parliamentary scrutiny and with predictions it will receive substantial opposition when it arrives in the House of Lords.
If the bill becomes law same-sex couples, currently able to enter civil partnerships, will be allowed to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies.
The consent of a religious institution would be needed though, before any religious ceremony could be held.