Mixed views over gay wedding laws

Paul Maynard
Paul Maynard
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A controversial Bill which could legalise same-sex marriage has been given a mixed response by Fylde coast MPs.

MPs yesterday spent a second day debating the gay marriage Bill in the House of Commons and, despite some opposition to the idea, gay couples could now marry in England and Wales as soon as summer 2014.

There was a mixed response to the Bill from the Fylde coast’s MPs, with some of them arguing for amendments to the original document.

Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, said: “I’ve continued to support the basic principles of the Bill because I believe it strikes the right balance between protection for freedom of religion, including safeguards, so no church has to conduct a same sex marriage, but any couple who want to can get married.”

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, was against the Bill.

He added: “This has been a controversial issue which has stirred local passions, and I am grateful to all who have offered their views.

“On such an issue, no MP can please all the people all of the time, and we can only do what we believe is right, and accept that some will be disappointed.

“Supporters will be pleased the Bill looks set to pass, opponents can be satisfied that I sought to represent the sizeable numbers in the area with concerns.”

Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said: “I voted for some of the amendments which the Government didn’t say we needed but I felt we did - like the amendments to the protection of religion and registrars that are already involved, but they were defeated.

“I will vote for the bill as I did originally on the grounds of equality, but I’m determined that there will be extra protections in there.”

Preston North and Wyre MP Ben Wallace and Fylde MP Mark Menzies were unavailable for comment.