Sir Peter Tapsell votes against Same Sex Couples Bill

Sir Peter Tapsell.
Sir Peter Tapsell.

Louth MP Sir Peter Tapsell was one of 136 Conservative MPs who voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in Parliament on Tuesday.

Sir Peter, the Father of the House, was joined by nearby MPs Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes and Immingham), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Karl McCartney (Lincoln), John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings) in voting against what became a controversial and well publicised vote.

Overall the House of Commons voted 400 to 175 in favour of the bill, which would allow couples of the same sex to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, but in the case of religious ceremonies only with the consent of that particular religious institution.

MPs were not bound by their party whips and were able to vote ‘with their consciences’ on the matter.

Sir Peter didn’t speak himself during the debate, but colleague Edward Leigh of Gainsborough has been a fervent critic of the bill.

“We should indeed treat one another with tolerance and treat everybody’s sexuality with understanding, but the fundamental question we are deciding today is whether English law should declare for the first time that two people of the same sex can marry,” he said.

“During the civil partnership debates, I was given solemn assurances on the Floor of the House, including by some sitting on the Opposition Benches now, that the Civil Partnership Act would not lead to full same-sex marriage.

“I will vote tonight to proclaim my support for the future of our children and for the essence of traditional marriage.”

David Simpson, MP for Upper Bann in Northern Ireland, said: “In the garden of Eden, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

Tuesday’s vote was the second reading of the bill, meaning MPs have passed it in principle before it later returns for final scrutiny.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the vote was ‘an important step forward’ that would make for a stronger society.

What do you think? Did you agree with the bill being passed, or do you agree with Sir Peter’s stance?

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