The figures are based on those collected by the Coalition for Equal Marriage and reveal that 330 MPs have said in interviews, or letters to their constituents, that they support the government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales. MP’s who have already announced their support for gay marriage include Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, Theresa May, Jack Straw and Caroline Lucas while both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have publicly given their support.
Pink News recently revealed that the planned legislation for gay marriage will go to a vote before Valentines Day. So far around 126 MPs have indicated their opposition to the proposals. The Vote will be “free” for all of the main political parties; this means MPs will able to vote on their own personal opinion rather than “towing the line” and following party policy. The free vote has been criticised by some who feels issues of civil rights should not be down to MPs personal beliefs or views. It has also been criticised by others who feel the MPs will not represent the views of their constituents and will vote by how they personally feel on the subject.
The proposed legalisation is for England and Wales only; Scotland has held its own public consultation on the issue and is pushing ahead separately from Westminster. The move in Scotland and the rest of the UK towards same-sex marriage has been criticised by the Catholic Church and other faith groups but other groups such as Quakers, Pagans and Liberal Jews have welcomed the governments plans.
Opinion polls continue to put public support for marriage equality as being in the majority.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, source Pink News]