MPs Nic Dakin, Andrew Percy and Martin Vickers to vote on same-sex marriage bill
NORTH Lincolnshire MPs are set to take part in a vote on a Parliamentary bill which could allow same-sex marriages.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be debated in the House of Commons tomorrow (Tuesday, February 5).
If it becomes law, the bill would enable same-sex couples to get married in civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales.
It would also allow couples to convert existing civil partnerships into marriages.
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But under the terms of the bill, religious institutions will not be forced to marry same-sex couples.
Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, said he would be supporting the bill when it is voted on tomorrow.
He said: "I respect the fact people have strong opinions on this in both directions.
"I have looked very closely at the legislation and had there been any doubt that churches which did not wish to perform them would be forced to, then I would not have supported it.
"However, I can't find any argument against allowing two people who are in love to be allowed to marry in churches or religious institutions that want to marry them.
"It is not the business of the Government and all the law does is allow the religious institutions themselves to choose."
Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin also said he would be voting in favour of same-sex marriage.
He said: "I think it is a very difficult issue for a lot of people locally, who have strong views on each side of the argument.
"Obviously, the Government for whatever reason has decided to bring forward this legislation now, which means everybody has to decide how they are going to vote.
"On balance, I will be voting in favour of same-sex marriage.
"I think it comes down to whether marriage is something in the 21st century that should only be for a man and a woman or whether it should be available to two people who love each other and are willing to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
"On balance, I come down on that side.
"It is very important there is a distinction to make between the civil status of marriage, which I think is for the state.
"But it is also very important that the state does not interfere with faith communities and they should be able to make their own decisions as to whether they marry same-sex couples."
But Martin Vickers, whose Cleethorpes constituency includes the Barton-Upon-Humber area, said he would vote against the bill.
He said: "It wasn't a manifesto commitment.
"It wasn't in the manifesto of any of the three main parties and I think such a social change should be allowed to evolve, rather than be put forward without an electoral mandate.
"I accept young people are more relaxed about this change but some older people find it very uncomfortable.
"I think more time should be allowed before Parliament considers it and then, after an election where it has been part of the manifesto.
"I think it is only proper that they should have an electoral mandate."