A Conservative MP for Yorkshire has issued a fresh warning that polygamy could be the result of marriage equality for gays.

Pointing out that civil partnerships offer virtually all the legal benefits of marriage, MP for Calder Valley Craig Whittaker said equality would make “marriage adult centred instead of child centred”.

Mr Whittaker said the issue was “incredibly important” and that his position was not based on that of any faith group but on fear of the unintended consequences of allowing gay couples to marry.

The warning coincides with the launch of a new feature on the Coalition for Equal Marriage website outlining how MPs are likely to vote on a bill to introduce marriage equality.

Individuals are urged to write in with details of how their local MP is inclined to vote. As a signatory of the Coalition for Marriage anti-gay marriage petition, Mr Whittaker’s opposition is already included.

Mr Whittaker asked on his blog whether those politicians who decriminalised homosexuality could “ever imagine that their successors would be looking at changing the law and re-defining marriage at some point in the future? I doubt that very much and feel that they changed the law on grounds of what we would call today ‘equality’. Legal equality, taken forward and rightfully strengthened in many avenues over those years culminating in legal civil partnerships.”

If gays are allowed to marry, he continued: “What will our successors be discussing and have to legislate for in the future?; Polygamy?; Three-way relationships?; Who knows what else?”

Mr Whittaker drew attention to the Dutch trio who entered a ‘samenlevingscontract’ or cohabitation agreement, treating it as a civil union and commitment to the tripartite relationship. The legal agreement is primarily used to settle questions of property ownership as gay couples can marry in the Netherlands.

He added that proposals for fixed-term marriages had been put forward in Mexico, birth certificates no longer named ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ in Spain and in Canada “there are major attempts to legalise polygamy through the courts using the precedent of same-sex marriage”.

Marriage, he said, “predates the English language and our nation, and it predates the Christian church. It is as old as the hills, not a recent invention of society to be refashioned on a political whim.”

“It’s not discriminatory to support traditional marriage. Same-sex couples may choose to have a civil partnership but I feel that no-one has the right to redefine marriage for the rest of society.

“It is for these reasons that I feel that I am unable to support Government proposals on same-sex marriage and will be voting against the Government on this issue if indeed it comes to a vote.”

As well as filling in the Home Office public consultation on marriage and signing the Coalition for Equal Marriage petition, which now has nearly 54,000 signatures, PinkNews.co.uk encourages readers to write to their MPs and meet with them to encourage their support for an equal marriage bill in Parliament.

PinkNews.co.uk along with partners in the gay media, the Coalition for Equal Marriage and Remarkable Group have launched Out4Marriage.org, a collaborative campaign where you record videos showing why you believe that love is the same, regardless of gender and are ‘Out4Marriage’. To join the campaign, please click here.