Bridlington MP votes against gay marriage bill

editorial image

BRIDLINGTON’S MP Greg Knight voted against plans to enable same-sex couples to be married when it was brought before Parliament for its second reading this week.

MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225.

Their decision to back the bill at second reading signifies that they approve of it in principle but it will undergo further parliamentary scrutiny before it can become law.

But the Bill has divided opinion among MPs, with 136 Tory MPs opposing it.

In a statement issued to the Free Press ahead of Tuesday night’s vote, Mr Knight said: “I remain unconvinced of the need for a change in the law on this issue.

“The introduction of civil partnerships already recognises the legal basis of same sex relationships and when this was introduced, it was widely accepted at the time as a fair solution,” Mr Knight said.

“However, the proposed change in the status of marriage changes the definition of marriage for everyone, and confuses ‘uniformity’ with ‘equality’.

“I am concerned that the Church of England, which performs by far the majority of marriages in Britain, says it has not been properly consulted and I am not re-assured that if the Bill becomes law, the decision of a particular church not to allow same-sex marriage will not, at some point, be challenged by the European Court,” he added.

Mr Knight added that “in view of the legal complexities and arguments” which he believed would be triggered for many years to come, he would be voting against the proposal at the second reading.

If it becomes law the bill will enable same-sex couples to marry in both civil and religious ceremonies - the latter only with the consent of religious institutions.