BREAKING NEWS: Equal Marriage Vote Carried
I am pleased to report that the House of Commons voted in favour of equal marriage rights for gay couples by 400 in favour to 175 against.
Reading West MP Alok Sharma voted in favour of the bill.
Reading East MP Rob Wilson abstained.
Following the vote, Alok said: “I have huge respect for the passionate and genuinely held views of those who oppose this legislation. They stem from profound and deeply held beliefs, often founded in religion. However, I have always been consistent in my view. We already have civil partnerships for same sex couples who enjoy many of the same rights as married couples. And therefore the introduction of same sex marriage will not, in my view, represent a major revolution in the law.”
Alok continued: “The key for me was to confirm that the Bill has the safeguards to ensure that no religious institution can be forced, against its wishes, to marry any same sex, or indeed heterosexual, couples. I believe the Bill contains those safeguards and that is an assurance I have also received from Ministers.”
Alok concluded: “I also do not believe that there can be a successful challenge to these safeguards in Europe. Religious freedom is guaranteed and enshrined under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Court has recently confirmed that same-sex marriage is a matter for each individual state to decide upon. Interestingly Spain, which is a predominantly Catholic country, introduced same-sex marriage in 2005 and has not seen a single challenge in Europe.”