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Four out of six Gloucestershire MPs back gay marriage

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

vote:   Gloucester MP Richard Graham. Below Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson.

Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson.

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FOUR of Gloucestershire's six MPs say they will support gay marriage.

A controversial bill is being prepared by the Government which would afford same sex couples equal marriage rights.

The coalition's plans to legalise gay marriage have divided the county's MPs.

Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson and Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown are both likely to vote against.

Mr Robertson said: "People are wondering why we are spending time on this which virtually no one is calling for.

"I don't think it should be a priority."

But Gloucester MP Richard Graham, Stroud MP Neil Carmichael, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood and Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper are all likely to say yes to the law change.

Mr Graham has led the way in supporting gay marriage by writing to all his constituents who have asked for his views on the issue.

He said: "The proposals for same sex marriage have not been easy for me. Whether as a Christian, an individual, an MP, or your representative, I've had to ask myself many questions.

"I know people in loving relationships who are of the same sex. They think of themselves as a partnership, a marriage, as much as Anthea, my wife, and I do.

"If the bill can allow anyone to marry, while allowing faith institutions to opt out without fear of discrimination court cases, then I believe concerns raised by constituents can be allayed.

"These proposals make no difference to Anthea and my marriage, nor will they affect our church. So the only reason for me to oppose them would be because I want to deny same sex couples to marry if they wanted to, mostly in registry offices."

Mr Carmichael said: "We have to be modern and up-front about the issue.

"I think we have got to have a tolerant society."

Mr Harper said: "I believe marriage strengthens commitment and helps support society. I want that opportunity to be equally open to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples."

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  • dodoleduck  |  January 19 2013, 7:30AM

    omorley: Absolutely spot on. Its nothing whatsoever to do with what these people do to each other, no one cares. Slightly "homophobic" tishwash? I think you are slightly missing the point old bean.

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  • lordigaga  |  January 18 2013, 11:13AM

    there ain't no god, get over it!

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  • Spud0  |  January 17 2013, 10:45PM

    Some churches want to carry out 'gay marriages', e.g. Quakers, so what right do other churches have to tell them not to? No church is being forced to carry out 'gay marriages', so why is there all this intolerance? Is this the work of the Christian Taliban with their one selfish view?

  • tishwash  |  January 17 2013, 10:29PM

    I guess a third comment, how does it effect you personally? What people do in their own private lives is nothing to do with you, I note how most are repulsed about gay men but love the idea of lesbians having fun together for their pleasure?

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  • tishwash  |  January 17 2013, 10:25PM

    I also like the fact the majority of the people against it are being slightly homophobic because they're keyboard warriors

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  • tishwash  |  January 17 2013, 10:23PM

    disgusted at Laurence Robertson and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, tow the party line, give people what they deserve and keep your nose out of people's choices. I'm ashamed that I used to vote conservative, tempted to change!

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 17 2013, 8:02PM

    I agree with Ed_Buxton "many people who disagree with homosexual marriage primarily have a problem with what goes on in the bedroom" I think it's a little more defined than that though. It's what two men do in bed (and elsewhere) together that many find repulsive whilst, on the other hand, finding what two women doing in bed together to be titillating! As an aside, if a gay man is allowed to use male changing rooms isn't it only right that a straight man should be able to use female changing rooms? I'll check this out with my gym tomorrow - all in the interests of equality!

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  • mrktdd  |  January 17 2013, 4:59PM

    Well, That's brightened up my afternoon. Very enlightening indeed. Just a few points / thoughts though..... 1 Are we getting bogged down in terminology? Surely nobody could argue against us all having the same legal rights? should we call the whole thing, gay or straight, something else? The OED changes things all the time and new words are becoming common parlance at a faster rate then ever in history. 2 If as a man I chose to enter into a partnership with another man, why should I legally have to call it something different to if it was with a woman. 3 I hardly think this is a case of minority groups and liberal lefties forcing their minority beliefs on those that don't want them. If it's not going to affect the lives of people unafected by the changes, or raise taxes or cause any kind of hardship, how can it be wrong? 4 Are Christians, as a whole in this country, really opposed to homosexuality? Or is being a christian more about tolerance and love? 5 No religious institution is being forced to marry a homosexual couple. 6 All lesbians are homosexual, but not all homosexuals are lesbians. 7 'Straight' couples - and I hate that term. What's the opposite? Bendy couples? - have the choice of a registery ceremony or a church ceremony. Religious or not. Your choice. Is that choice limited to just straight couples? Why should that be? 8 Equal marriage may or may not strengthen society. We could let same sex couples get married and see if they make as much of a mess of it as others have. I know both same sex and differing sex partnerships that have both worked and ended in disaster. 9 The bible does state that a marriage is a blessing between a man and a woman. It also says a lot of other things that aren't appropriate for our modern day, enlightened society. 10 I was brought up a Christian. Baptised, Sunday school, Choir, Confirmed, active in the Church community...... I'm not God Squad or anything, and no longer a practicing christian. I have 3 beautiful God Children who I love and adore, I know what that entails, and as I have no children of my own I play an active role in their upbringing. I have Many MANY friends involved with the Church. Would they love me any less if i were with a man or woman? If they did, would that be very Christian like?

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  • Hubert1841  |  January 17 2013, 4:13PM

    MP Laurence Robertson and Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown were unavailable for comment, as they were opening a new nightclub, La Cage aux Folles, in St. Tropez and couldn't get back in time, so they shared a Travelodge room for the night, which they paid for out of their own pockets.

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  • geraint2010  |  January 17 2013, 3:35PM

    It does make you wonder why so much parliamentary time was wasted in getting Civil Partnerships on the statute, not so long ago, doesn't it? The bill seems certain to go through and then it will only be a matter of time before the European Court rules against some vicar who refuses to conduct a gay marriage – or God forbid an Imam – then just watch the stuff hit the fan!!

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