Search

Havering MPs divided on subject of gay marriage as bill passes through Commons

15:00 06 February 2013

Dame Angela Watkinson MP

Dame Angela Watkinson MP

Archant

Parliament last night voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriages in the UK – but Havering MPs, like the House of Commons, are divided on the issue.

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson (Conservative), who voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, spoke during the debate of “the gay people who have approached me who feel the vows of commitment they are allowed to exchange in the civil partnership ceremony are not regarded with the same value as those in a marriage.”

Speaking to the Recorder after the bill’s second reading, she added: “While no heterosexual individual will suffer any harm or disadvantage, gay couples will benefit from having their lifetime commitment recognised as being of equal value. I voted for this bill as I think it was the right thing to do.

“I have gained many gay colleagues and friends over the years and know them to be good people. There is no place for prejudice or exclusion in 2013.”

But Romford MP Andrew Rosindell was one of 136 Tory MPs who opposed the bill, despite its support from the government.

“Marriage has always been between a man and a woman and once we move away from that there’s no end to where it will lead,” he told the Recorder.

“Do you mean that a man can marry more than one wife like they do in the Muslim countries? Is it right that you can marry someone in your own family?”

He added: “There’s not a church in Romford that hasn’t been in touch with me and said how much they fear being penalised for refusing to carry out a ceremony.”

The bill provides that no religious organisation can be forced to carry out a same-sex ceremony – but Mr Rosindell said he feared this could be overturned by the European Court of Human Rights.

“It’s not about equality,” he said. “Equality is already there.”

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas (Labour) voted in favour of the bill, but added: “For me, as a catholic, marriage is a sacrament carried out in church between a man and woman.

“There will be those in the coming debates who will and seek to force churches to perform same sex marriages. I will oppose this throughout.

“But as long as the sacrament of marriage in church between a man and woman remains protected then I accept the changes in the civic ceremonies for same sex couples.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 19:35
Paul Freedman is applauded by other runners

A 90-year-old man who has raised more than £100,000 for St Francis Hospice since his wife Teeny’s death in 2007 was applauded by runners at the start line of last week’s London Marathon.

Yesterday, 19:31
Robert Gurling

Police have appealed for help to find a Romford man believed to have abducted his three-year-old son from his foster parents.

Yesterday, 13:06
A man was found unconscious outside Romford station yesterday.

An investigation has been launched after a man who suffered a blow to the head was found outside Romford station yesterday.

Yesterday, 12:00
Joseph Kavanagh, 16, of Heather Way, Collier Row, took part in a week long leadership academy at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama

A teenager had the experience of a lifetime at a space and rocket centre in America.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder