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South Devon Tory MPs split over bid to legalise gay marriage

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

  • Sarah Wollaston

Comments (4)

CONSERVATIVE MPs in South Devon were split over plans to legalise gay marriage which exposed deep divisions within David Cameron's party.

Totnes Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston joined with Lib Dem for Torbay Adrian Sanders in helping the historic proposals clear their first Commons hurdle by a big margin of 400 votes to 175 — a majority of 225.

But early estimates showed 134 Tories voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill's second reading.

They included Anne Marie Morris for Newton Abbot and Mel Stride for Central Devon.

The vote followed more than six hours of impassioned debate on the proposed legislation.

Dr Wollaston called for a vote 'for love and equality', and revealed how she received 'hateful' correspondence, some of which suggested treatment for homosexuality.

She told MPs: "I can tell the people who write those things that homosexuality needs no treatment. Our sexuality is fundamental to who we are.

"We will all know people who have been forced to live a lie, bringing immeasurable unhappiness to themselves and those around them. Such marriages were not marriages — they were a sham enforced by society and the state."

She added: "My understanding of marriage as somebody with no faith is no less valid than that of members who speak passionately from their religious perspective.

"I would say that when this measure has passed, as I hope that it does, we will look back in five years' time and wonder what the fuss was about. This measure is long overdue."

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  • sweeney2010  |  February 08 2013, 9:32PM

    When. I heard a man supporting homosexual marriage claim that there were no differences between men and women, I knew it was a waste of time trying to have a sensible debate.

  • SteveTorbay  |  February 08 2013, 11:46AM

    There's no such thing as equality...

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  • nicold  |  February 08 2013, 11:14AM

    Marriage is a legal construct. Those MP's that voted against the bill for reasons of religion should be ashamed of themselves!

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  • MrMikeHunt  |  February 08 2013, 10:43AM

    Gay marriage is a split purely along religious lines, if you believe in the dude in the sky you may well believe it is a sin. The rest of us just see it as equality.

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