Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker “not surprised” by same-sex marriage vote

Craig Whittaker MP
Craig Whittaker MP

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker says he was “not surprised” that almost half his party’s MPs voted against same-sex marriage plans before Parliament this week.

But the Conservative MP, who has been outspoken about his opposition to the Government’s plans to allow gay marriage, said the result of the vote - a 225 majority in favour of the bill - was what he had expected.

MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175 on Tuesday. Of those opposing, 136 were Conservatives despite the bill being backed by David Cameron.

Before the vote, Mr Whittaker had argued that opening civil partnerships up to heterosexual couples was a better alternative to allowing same-sex marriage.

“Rather than erode the traditional meaning of marriage for the majority, there is a simple solution to this bill which as it currently stands is incredibly divisive rather than being inclusive,” he said.

“Why don’t the Government have a serious look at opening up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples and simply change the name to something like ‘State Marriage’?

“That way those who want marriage so they can be called married, get their way. That way those who want to maintain traditional marriage for its true intended purpose can keep it.”

Halifax MP Linda Riordan (Labour) voted for in favour of the bill and said she believed every couple should have the right to get married.

She added she thinks the situation will quickly be accepted as the norm.