Morecambe MP votes against gay marriage

David Morris MP.
David Morris MP.

THE MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale was one of 136 Conservatives to oppose a bill allowing same gender marriage.

David Morris MP voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples Bill) which was passed by 400 to 175 on Monday night.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw voted in favour of the bill and later said it was “a good day for democracy”.

MPs were given a free vote on the bill, meaning they were not ordered to vote a particular way by party whips.

The legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny.

If it becomes law, the bill will enable same sex couples, who are currently able to engage in civil partnerships, to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies – the latter only with the consent of 
religious institutions.

Mr Ollerenshaw, who spoke in Tuesday’s parliamentary debate, said he had been assured that faith groups would not be forced to carry out same sex marriages.

“Providing there is protection in place for groups who do not want to carry them out, I am satisfied,” he said.

“I equated it to divorce. I am Roman Catholic and no one has ever challenged their right not to marry divorcees.

“In terms of equality of rights and minority groups I am in favour of it.

“I have always been a supporter of equal rights for everybody, even if I don’t always support their views.

“It (the debate) was a difficult occasion. People spoke honestly from their hearts – it was a good day for democracy.”

Mr Morris was unavailable for comment.

Former Lancaster MP Ben Wallace, now MP of Wyre and Preston North, also opposed the legislation.

He was among 136 Conservatives, 22 Labour MPs, four Lib Dems, two independents and eight others.