St Albans MP condemned for stance on same-sex marriages
SUPPORTERS of the government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriages claim they have been ignored by St Albans MP Anne Main who has said she will vote against the controversial proposal if it goes through Parliament.
Mrs Main is one of the rumoured 130 Conservative backbench MPs who are opposing planned legislation which would permit gay marriages in places of worship.
And that is why a group of her constituents are congregating outside her office in London Colney on Saturday in the hope of changing the way the Tory MP will vote on the issue.
One the of the demonstrators Jane Hobday, who lives in London Colney, said: “A few weeks ago we had the Church of England telling women they could not be bishops and now we have the Church of England and MPs saying gay men and women cannot be married.
“I feel a bit let down by Anne Main. I hope that she would change her mind and show that she is the MP for everybody and not just the people she agrees with.
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“I have heard some arguments against it [the proposals] but they seem so outrageous. If two people love each other and they want to make a commitment and get married then who are we to stop them?”
But the St Albans MP has said when reaching her decision she consulted with local religious organisations and took into account hundreds of comments from her constituents.
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She explained: “Before the consultation came out I thought it was wise to write all the faith groups in St Albans asking for their views on gay marriage.
“Overall their responses, which were thoughtful and considered in depth, did not find favour with the possibility of gay marriage, and this corresponded with my views on the matter.
“During the consultation over five hundred constituents have written to me on the matter and less than 10 have urged me to vote in favour of the legislation.”
Mrs Main has also raised concerns that while the Prime Minister had said places of worship would not be forced to hold gay marriages, the European Court of Human Rights could override this decision.
In January the bill will be introduced to the House of Commons and MPs have been promised a free vote meaning they can vote according to their own conscience.
Talking about Mrs Main’s free vote, district councillor for London Colney Jacob Quagliozzi, who will join the supporters of same-sex weddings on Saturday, said: “I think it is absolutely right that Anne Main makes up her own mind but it is also absolutely right that she listens to all her constituents and residents.”
As part of the measures, which could come into effect in 2014, it will be illegal for the Church of England or Church in Wales to perform gay marriages.
Under the new law 50,000 gay couples who have entered into civil partnerships will be able to convert their arrangements into legally recognised marriages.