Gwent MPs to take opposing sides on gay marriage vote
1:47pm Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
GWENT’S MPs will be taking different sides in tonight’s vote on gay marriage.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales.
It would also allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.
The plans, being explored in the House of Commons today, have sparked outrage in some quarters, including within Prime Minister David Cameron's own party.
MPs will have a free vote on the issues, meaning they will not be ordered to vote for or against by party whips.
Paul Murphy will be voting against the measure to legalise same-sex marriage. The Torfaen MP said: “I feel that this is primarily about the definition of marriage – something which I care greatly about as a Christian. Therefore, I do not feel able to support this measure.”
He added: “I have supported a great deal of legislation over the years to oppose discrimination and give proper legal rights to people, regardless of their sexuality. I support civil partnerships and very much oppose homophobia in any form.
Monmouth MP David Davies, who has previously spoken out passionately against the plans, said they are a "dog's breakfast," meaning the government have not thought about the future.
He said: "There are sex education consequences, religious consequences and the plans are not necessary in the first place.
"I know gay couples in Monmouth and I know they are not very supportive of it. It's bad politics and a bad idea."
Other Gwent MPs voting in favour of the measure include Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent. He said he would be voting in favour of equal marriage saying: “I fully support same-sex civil marriage and believe it is the right way for the state and society to recognise and respect commitment. This is an issue of equality. Live and let live”, he added.
The valleys MP conceded: "However, I appreciate that equalising same-sex marriage can provoke strong opinions on both sides, and freedom of religious expression and belief must be maintained. Religious marriages are a matter for each church, not for the government."
Newport West MP Paul Flynn is also voting in favour of the plans.
He said: "I think this is a reform that is worthwhile. If two people want to share their lives together and marry they should be able to. I don't think it's going to create a problem in churches I think it will be seen as a reasonable step."
Newport East MP Jessica Morden is voting for the proposals.
Wayne David MP for Caerphilly said he had given it a "great deal of thought" and would be voting in favour.
"I've had representations from constituents both for and against, but on balance the argument has been win for those who want equalisation," he said.
"For me the bottom line is same sex couples ought to have the same rights in law as different sex couples.
"I am a Christian, a member of the Church of Wales and they have asked to be able to exercise the right in the future if they wish to conduct equal marriages, something which I support."