STAFFORD’S MP has taken up a controversial stance in the debate over same-sex marriage by signing an open letter in opposition to the plans.
Jeremy Lefroy said he had joined 60 cross party members of the houses of Commons and Lords in an open letter stating the Government had no mandate to pass the proposed legislation.
“I have decided to sign this letter because I have some very serious concerns about this legislation,” said Mr Lefroy. “This policy was not contained in any party manifesto at the last election.
“The way in which the consultation has been handled has also given rise to considerable disquiet.”
The open letter calls into question the recently announced results of the Government’s consultation and asks for assurances regarding freedom of speech for religious communities over the debate.
The letter states:
As parliamentarians from different political parties and none, we are united in supporting the institution of marriage defined in law as a union between a man and a woman.
We recognise the value of a loving and committed relationship and we respect civil partnership, but affirm the distinctive value of marriage reflecting the complementarity of a man and woman often evidenced in parenthood.
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 plans.
The consultation has ignored the views of 500,000 British residents in favour of anonymous submissions from anyone anywhere in the world.
We believe that the Government does not have a mandate to redefine marriage.
We recognise these are issues of conscience which will be given free votes in Parliament.
We will be seeking legal guarantees of the same freedom of conscience for our constituents and religious organisations to teach, preach and express a traditional view of marriage.
We are sceptical that the proposed protections will prevent the erosion of liberties of religion and conscience.
The proposed redefinition of marriage is unnecessary, given the legal rights established through civil partnerships.
We understand some parliamentarians support freedom for same sex couples to marry, but we support a freedom from the state being able to redefine the meaning of marriage.