Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Suffolk: MP adds voice to gay marriage protest

08:00 18 December 2012

MP David Ruffley

MP David Ruffley

Archant

AN EAST Anglian MP has signed a letter accusing the Government of ignoring public opinion over gay marriage.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley, pictured, was among almost 60 who signed the letter after Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced plans to allow same-sex couples to marry last week.

The letter reads: “We are united in supporting the institution of marriage defined in law as a union between a man and a woman. We recognise the value of a loving and committed relationship and we respect civil partnership, but affirm the distinctive value of marriage reflecting the complementarity of a man and woman often evidenced in parenthood.”

Currently gay couples can enter into civil partnerships that give them almost the same legal rights as married couples.

Proposals which Prime Minister David Cameron backs would see marriage redefined, so that its current definition of being between a man and a woman would be altered to accommodate same-sex couples. However, the Church of England and its Welsh counterpart will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages. Other religious organisations will be able to “opt in” to holding ceremonies, the Culture Secretary announced last week.

The Government says it carried out a consultation, but the MPs’ letter argued that half a million people had signed a petition opposing the proposed change. It said: “At the last election, none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage. It was not contained in any of their manifestos, nor did it feature in the coalition’s programme for government.

“These facts alone should have led to extreme caution on the part of those calling for this change to be made. Instead the Government is ignoring the overwhelming public response against the plans.” The Government has said no religious institution would be forced to carry out same-sex marriages if it did not want to.

However, Mr Ruffley has previously warned any change could leave churches open to being sued if they refused marry people.

The letter, also signed by a handful of Labour MPs, added: “The proposed redefinition of marriage is unnecessary, given the legal rights established through civil partnerships.”

A Bill is expected at the end of January with changes potentially passed through parliament by the summer.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and Waveney MP Peter Aldous have also said they would oppose legislation to change the definition of marriage.

1 comment

  • If our PM had not refused to test the will of the electorate by allowing the promised referendum on continued membership of the EU, we might perhaps have been freed of the shackles of the EU imposed Human Rights Laws so that there was no danger of any religions being sued for opposing same sex marriages. By the same token the UK might have been immune to prosecution under this same Act by deporting Abu Qatada whilst at the same time saving the country many hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees.

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stock image.

A man has been robbed of his mobile phone after attacked in Ipswich overnight.

Former Ipswich Town footballer John Wark talks with Brenda Caley and Glenis Caley during the launch of Football Memories at Synergy Cafe.

With the 1978 FA Cup Final showing on a television screen in the background, three Ipswich Town legends who had helped bring the Blues victory during that game wander the room.

Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Potential fire hazards at houses and businesses in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich will be identified and addressed next week.

Stowmarket and Area Foodbank who are running low on food after high demand in recent weeks 
Eddie Smith, Paul Campbell and Mike Smith

A Suffolk foodbank is running out of food – following an “unprecedented” spike in demand.

The A12 near Kelvedon

A motorist has admitting putting on makeup – as she drove at 60mph along the A12.

Metin Ozer, from Mr Chippys Fish and Seafood Restaurant, Simone McLean, from S&S Caribbean Cafe, Sharalyne Monk, from Zebra News, Jessica Schomberg, from Jes, Izabela Serwin, from Cardamon Cafe, and April Moodie, from Music Warehouse, are angry how a trade is being affected due to a portion of St John's Street in Colchester is blocked due to sewer repairs.

Businesses say they have been left counting the cost and struggling for survival after a collapsed sewer has closed a Colchester town centre road for six weeks.

Lucy and Sophie Earthroll. Photo: Stephanie Mackentyre.

A Felixstowe mum has spoken of the “absolutely horrible” moment she feared her teenage daughter might have been a victim of the Istanbul airport terrorist attack.

David Ellesmere

Members of Suffolk County Council meet today for a crucial meeting to decide whether regional devolution can go ahead.

Ben Hayford will be appearing on Alan Titchamrsh's Love Your Garden on Tuesday, July 5. Ben is pictured at his home in Stowmarket.

A Suffolk tree surgeon may become something of a TV personality after being invited back on to a primetime series.

Air ambulance. Stock image

A woman was found dead in the Waterfront area of Ipswich this afternoon, police have confirmed

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24