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Why I Voted Against the Same Sex Marriage Bill – Anne Milton MP

Published on: 24 May, 2013
Updated on: 27 May, 2013
Anne Milton MP

Anne Milton MP

Anne Milton, MP for Guildford, this evening (May 24) explained her reasons for voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Tuesday (May 21).

She was one of 133 Conservative MPs to vote against the Bill and it was only with the support of opposition MPs that the vote was won but some Labour and Liberal Democrats MPs were also recorded voting against.

The government’s decision to put forward the Bill is known to have angered many Conservative supporters and the issue was even raised with candidates canvassing in the lead up to the recent county council elections.

Ms Milton, a government whip, said this evening: “There were a number of factors that contributed to my decision to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at the 3rd Reading. This was one of the few occasions where MPs are asked to vote with their conscience and are given a free vote. It is the case that MPs from all parties voted both for and against the Bill.

“Prior to this Bill coming forward, indeed in the whole eight years of having been an MP, I had never been lobbied for a change in the marriage laws, even by friends and constituents who are in same sex relationships.

“Since its publication I have received correspondence from over 1000 constituents, probably one of the largest number of people that have contacted me on a single issue. The vast majority were against the change.

“This was clearly an issue that deeply affected many people who did not want to see marriage law change and saw the change as a redefinition of marriage.

“I decided I could not vote for the Bill when so many of my constituents were against it and so few in favour, without a strong personal desire to change the law, which I did not have.

“I have given this proposed change considerable thought and listened to the representations very carefully; they were well considered, thoughtful and many were expressed in sorrow rather than anger.”

The Bill now goes to the House of Lords.

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test 4 Responses to Why I Voted Against the Same Sex Marriage Bill – Anne Milton MP

  1. Robin Whittleton Reply

    May 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    On one hand I’m sad that Anne Milton doesn’t approve of equality, but then on the other hand it’s a bit of a non-issue at this point. As with many conservative viewpoints, this opposition is mostly confined to the elderly, which means it’ll gradually go away over time.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    May 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Nothing to do with equality but to do with not having this legislation in any manifesto.

    If we change the definition of the any word to mean something it has never meant in the past what word are we going to use to identify that definition? Why not simply invent a word to define the new meaning and leave the original word to mean what it always has for the past 4000 years?

  3. Robin Whittleton Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 7:37 am

    You’re welcome to argue semantics, but I prefer to argue for dignity. Regarding pledges, just because it wasn’t in a particular manifesto doesn’t mean it was never mentioned. The Conservatives have been talking about this for a while (e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8614235.stm ), certainly pre-election.

  4. Jayne Seymour Reply

    May 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Surely a free vote is a matter for the MP’s own conscience? Not a random vote conserving poll of a thousand constituents?

    Ms Milton would have done better to realise that a whole section of society is being discriminated against by not enacting a law that applies to all no matter what their sexuality.

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