Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan explains why she voted against allowing gay marriage
Nicky Morgan has explained why she voted against allowing gay marriage.
The Loughborough MP was one of 175 MPs from across the political spectrum who voted against the motion following last week’s debate in the House of Commons.
The motion was, however, passed with 400 MPs voting in favour of it.
Mrs Morgan’s actions sparked plenty of further debate on social networking sites with both praise and criticism.
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But in the end, she said it was clear in her own mind that she had to vote against.
“This was totally a free vote, it was an issue of conscience and I had no pressure put on me from anyone higher in the Conservative party,” she said.
“As an issue, this generated more response from my constituency than I have had before, the Loughborough office received more calls, visits and letters on this subject than we have ever seen before.
“On the day of the vote, I had 285 people who had written to me asking me to vote against it and just 24 asking me to vote for it.
“At that point, it was clear to me that people in my constituency wanted me to vote against it.
“There were also three main reasons of my own that I voted against it.
“First, this is a very big social change. There have been plenty of little changes down the years but what’s never been changed is that the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“I think that was one of the issues people, especially those who asked me to vote against, found hardest to accept and it also tied in with my own Christian faith too.
“I totally support civil partnerships and that same-sex relationships are recognised in law. But marriage, to me, is between a man and a woman.
“The second reason is that people have become a bit cynical about consultations about policy changes at national and local government level .
“And in this case, I felt the question was not whether the change should be made, but how it should be made and I think we forgot that step of asking if it should be made.
“And the third reason was legal aspects of the Bill. For instance, if we have gay marriage, should civil partnerships now also be opened up to heterosexual couples too? Or should we just get rid of civil partnerships altogether?
“Also, if same-sex marriages are to be dissolved, will that be different to heterosexual partnerships ending?
“I know there are a lot of worries for people like teachers and others in public sector roles and these are things I still feel need to be ironed out as the Bill goes through Parliament.
“I appreciate that there will be people in my constituency who will be unhappy with how I voted and I wish many of them had contacted me earlier and given me a clearer picture of what people thought.
“A lot of people left it until the day, or the day after, the vote to tell me they supported it.
“I would say to them, there is still a long way to for this Bill to go, it has to go to House of Lords, for example, and there is still time for people to let me know if they are pro-change.
“But at the end of the day, it was a free vote, I have to think about the views of the majority of my constituents and my own personal views and I think we could have handled the whole thing differently and taken more time to have more of a public debate about it instead of just ploughing on.”
• This article appeared in the Loughborough edition of the Mercury, which is on sale every Wednesday.