Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has written of her opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, claiming that it fails to make same-sex marriage equal to heterosexual marriage in the eyes of the law.
She has also announced a plan to lay down an amendment that would define same-sex marriage as “state marriage.”
Ms Dorries, who is currently suspended from the Conservative Party due to last year’s decision to take part in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, wrote a piece on Conservative Home setting out her opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
Among her biggest concerns is the lack of a requirement for consummation in same-sex marriages.
Ms Dorries writes: “A basic legal requirement of The Marriage Act 1973 is for ‘ordinary and complete sex to have taken place’”. She adds: “The Act defines sex as between members of the opposite sex only.”
The bill, in consideration for the Marriage Act’s definition of sex, does not require same-sex couples to consummate their marriage. Further, it does not offer a definition for adultery between same-sex couples, or make a requirement for faithfulness.
Ms Dorries argues the bill would ”legally patronise” same-sex couples by not holding them to the standards of the Marriage Act in the same way as heterosexual couples.
“Whilst marriage is about more than sex, marriage is not about less than sex,” she continues. “Legally, a long-term relationship without ‘ordinary and complete sex’ can be a friendship, a relationship, but it’s not a marriage.
“The Government’s answer to the consummation question is that SSM (same-sex marriage) cannot be declared voidable as a result of non consummation because the legal definition of consummation is impossible to achieve. The Government’s admission that a SSM cannot meet the legal requirement of The Marriage Act makes nonsense of the whole Bill. If there cannot be consummation and thereby legal equality, what is the point of the Bill?”
“If you are in an SSM you don’t have the same legal endorsement; you are the inferior party in a Bill which fails to equally encompass all,” she concludes.
The MP adds that she is supportive of same-sex couples but “totally opposed” to the legal redefinition of marriage.
Ms Dorries goes on to voice concerns that the bill is “politically suicidal”, and will lose the Conservatives one in five of the votes they gained at the last general election through religious lobbies.
“Not a single person in the UK voted Conservative in 2010 because we said we would introduce SSM (same-sex marriage),” she says.
Ms Dorries stated that she would propose an amendment to the bill tomorrow, defining same-sex marriage as state marriage only.
“Gay couples and straight couples are magnificently different, wonderful and all deserving of the deeper love and fulfilment which comes from commitment. We should all be equal in the eyes and provision of the law,” she ends.