Published: 14:01, 21 March 2012
Allowing gay couples to marry would undermine a "treasured institution", says Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier.
The married father-of-three was speaking as the government launched a 12-week consultation on whether to allow same sex marriage in England and Wales.
Mr Brazier, who is a practising Roman Catholic, says he is opposed to the concept and given the chance will vote against it in the House of Commons.
He said: "It seems to me this is a very radical measure which will undermine a treasured institution and could have unforeseen consequences.
"We shouldn’t allow an institution of this importance to be re-defined simply to meet a rights agenda.
"It’s always been defined in a practical way which is quite restrictive when you think about it – there’s got be one of each sex, you can’t be related, you can’t be married to somebody else.
f we start to deconstruct it at what point do we stop?""I
He said: "I can’t see any logic as to why we should redefine marriage for the needs of one group of people and not others?
The proposed legislation - promoted by the Minister for Equality Lynn Featherstone - would allow same-sex couples to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony, but would still bar them from marrying in a religious service.
Andrew Brettell, a founder member of LGBT group Pride in Canterbury, said: "I am happy in my civil partnership. We do not want a 'marriage’, but there are those in the LGBT community who do.
"At Pride in Canterbury we want equality for LGBTs and indeed all people."