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Gloucestershire MPs divided over gay marriage

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 26, 2012

Richard Graham MP

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OPINION is divided among county MPs over plans to legalise gay marriage.

The division was revealed after confirmation that if there were to be a vote on the issue, it would be a free vote. That would allow MPs to act according to their conscience rather than being subject to party whips and vote with the Government.

However, nothing is likely to happen within the next year as a gay marriage bill was not included in the Queen's Speech.

Conservative MP for Tewkesbury Laurence Robertson said he thought the Government had to give a free vote because MPs would vote with their conscience anyway. He said: "People are wondering why we are spending time on this which virtually no one is calling for. I hope we don't waste parliamentary time on it. I don't think it should be a priority."

He added he would be opposing any moves to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Tory MP for Gloucester Richard Graham said: "There is a consultation but this is not in the Queen's Speech so I'm not expecting any draft legislation to come forward in this Parliament." He added: "I encourage all constituents with strong views, whichever way, to contribute to the consultation and copy me on richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk."

He said he wouldn't give an opinion based on "hypothetical legislation".

Mark Harper, Tory MP for the Forest of Dean and Constitutional Affairs minister, 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 so I support the consultation which the Government is carrying out."

Chris Marsh, manager of popular gay venue the Westgate Pub in Gloucester, said: "I am really pleased that MPs will be free to vote on this important issue. When it wasn't mentioned in the Queen's Speech I thought it had been ignored but I am glad that it has not."

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  • Kay_Powell  |  May 31 2012, 6:33PM

    GlawsBloke, I love you. Will you marry me? ;)

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  • Bartonite  |  May 29 2012, 10:22PM

    Just to point out that I was making the same point about equality in all practical aspects on the 26th...

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  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 29 2012, 9:22PM

    Ms_Superstar, I couldn't agree more.

  • Ms_Superstar  |  May 29 2012, 7:11PM

    From a practical standpoint, much of the issue is that married couples are granted rights and privileges that are denied to unmarried couples or siblings who choose to live together (they can't legally marry each other either, regardless of whether they are the same sex or opposite sexes). As a for example, if one partner of a married couple dies, their wealth is transferred to the surviving spouse with no liability for inheritance tax. If the same couple were unmarried, the surviving spouse would be liable to pay tax on any estate above the iht threshold - not unusual, given today's inflated house prices. Rather than addressing the issue of who can marry and who can't, maybe we should address the inequalities between married couples and civil partners (or cohabiting siblings).

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  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 28 2012, 11:31PM
    |   -2
  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 28 2012, 11:25PM

    As to controlled immigration. I must be remiss in my knowledge of history but I simply can't recall Bulgarians, Romanians, Slovenians, Slovakians, Estonians, Latvians or Lithuanians ever being colonies of Great Britain or their populations ever being forced to work here. Unfortunately, whenever someone mentions immigration, your ilk immediately sieze on it as a racist issue when of course, it's nothing of the kind. Maybe you'd actually be better off reading the Daily Mail instead of the Morning Star? Anything else I can help you with?

    |   -1
  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 28 2012, 11:16PM

    pobonthejob, I view it moreas indicative that no-one ever taught you the purpose of communication. The term "registry office" is how it is colloquially known, so much so that they even use the term themselves. Odd that. https://http://tinyurl.com/c52ourz Anything else I can help you with?

    |   -3
  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 28 2012, 10:43PM

    pobonthejob, as you choose to be pedantic, it's also commonly known as the Registrars Office but who cares?

    |   -3
  • Hoof_Hearted2  |  May 28 2012, 10:41PM

    Ah "Ray", Not even a nice try.

    |   -4
  • Bartonite  |  May 28 2012, 10:14PM

    To be clear, every person has the right to be disgusted, or to take offence as it's more often described. The distinction we need to draw is between exercising *that* inalienable right, and thinking it gives us the further right of restricting the behaviour of those that offend us. Or of being deliberate offensive in 'return'. If a gay couple kiss in public, is it really such a certainty that they are trying to offend that abuse is merited?