Four Kent MPs sign letter opposing gay marriage proposal
At least four Kent MPs
oppose gay marriage
by political editor Paul Francis
Four Kent MPs have questioned if the government has any
right to allow gay marriage, arguing it was never part of the
The four, who are all opponents of the controversial proposal,
nearly 60 MPs who have signed an open letter accusing the
coalition of acting without a mandate.
They are Roger Gale (Thanet North); Julian Brazier (Canterbury);
Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey) and Rehman Chishti
In the letter, the MPs say the coalition is ignoring the
public's overwhelmimg public response against the plan and question
if the government has any mandate to move ahead.
But a government minister and Kent MP has spoken in support of
Ashford MP and policing minister Damian Green, pictured
left, said: "The fact that men and women have got married
throughout history is not altered at all.
"Marriage is a great institution and and one of the great
stabilising factors in a civilised society and it should be
extended to as many as people as possible."
But the letter signed by the four MPs takes the government to
It states: "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
It goes on: "The consultation has ignored the views of 500,000
British residents in favour of anonymous submissions from anyone
anywhere in the
world. We believe the government does not have a mandate to
Gordon Henderson said: "We have to protect those people of faith
who believe that changing or redefining marriage in such a way is a
fundamental attack on their faith and they should be listened
"My problem is that by its current definition, marriage is an
institution between a man and a woman."
He also criticised the government's proposal for a lock on the
Church of England preventing it from conducting gay marriages,
describing it as "totally weird and illogical."
A free vote on gay marriages is expected to be held in the new
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