The MP for South Northamptonshire has said that she intends to oppose the equal marriage bill in Tuesday’s vote because her constituents find the proposal “deeply wrong”.

MPs will vote on equal marriage on Tuesday 5 February when the House of Commons considers the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

In a letter to a PinkNews reader, The Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, outlined her intention to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the upcoming vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

She says that she had taken time to reflect on the issue, but that she found the wording of the legislation “unacceptable”, and that she wanted to reflect the views of “so many” of her constituents, who felt that the bill was “deeply wrong”.

Referring to an exchange of emails with the reader, during which she said that her “instinct” was to vote against the measure, she said she had “spent so many hours in deep concern over this issue”, Ms Leadsom says that she will vote against it.

The full response from Ms Leadsom is available to read below:

I am pleased to see that this proposal includes a ‘quadruple lock’ of legal protections which will ensure that no religious organisation or individual minister could be forced into conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies.

But I am sorry to say that I still do not intend to support the bill. I have decided that, considering all I have previously mentioned, I will almost certainly formally abstain from it, which means walking through the No Lobby and also walking through the Aye Lobby.  This is to reflect my support for the genuine love and commitment of same sex partners, but also to register my protest at the unacceptability of the timing and wording of this legislation, as well as to represent the concerns of so many of my constituents who feel very deeply that this proposal is simply wrong.

I am aware that my decision will disappoint many on both sides of the argument and I too feel let down by the Government for being put in this position. However, having looked carefully at the Government’s consultation and considering the opinion of my constituents I find myself genuinely torn on the debate – I cannot vote against a measure that would mean so much to the minority of homosexual couples for whom marriage is the ultimate recognition for their genuine feelings for each other.  Yet nor can I vote for a measure that risks centuries of faith based belief in marriage as between a man and a woman, that will upset so many of my constituents and which has not yet won public support.

I am sorry if you do not find this response satisfactory, but I would like to assure you that I am constantly reflecting on this issue, having already given it many hours thought over many months.
Best wishes

Andrea Leadsom

Member of Parliament

South Northamptonshire