Conservative MP David Burrowes has told a PinkNews.co.uk reader he is “pro-marriage and not anti-gay” and that the majority of his constituents agree with him in opposing the same-sex marriage bill.
The north London, Enfield-Southgate MP responded to a letter from a PinkNews.co.uk reader, who accused Mr Burrowes of failing to consult with gay and lesbian Tory constituents – many of whom support equal marriage.
In his response to the PinkNews.co.uk reader, Mr Burrowes wrote:
I was sorry to receive your email of 1st March – not so much for you notifying me of your opposition but more the tone of your email. I will remove you from my mailing list as requested.
You refer to the lack of consultation about my views. I share your concern to the extent that the Government has pushed ahead with the proposals without a clear manifesto commitment, and no Green or White Paper. I am responding to their pre-emptive action but at each debate I have been clear about my support for marriage.
The issue of gay marriage is divisive and has led to different opinions across party affiliations, sexual affiliations, faiths, etc. My personal view is shared by an overwhelming majority of constituents who have contacted me. It is a view which is pro-marriage and not anti-gay, a point which is understood by many of my gay friends and constituents.
I support civil partnerships so much so that I do not see the need to change marriage to encompass same-sex couples when it has always existed as a distinctive relationship between a man and a woman.
It is very disappointing that you suggest my opposition to gay marriage is ‘homophobic smearing’. It is that kind of intolerance which encourages me to stand up on behalf of the majority of constituents who will not have the freedom to uphold a traditional view of marriage.
It is particularly disappointing that your disagreement with me on this issue prejudices you from having any engagement with me on other issues.
My door remains open if you want to contact me on other issues local or national. I hope at some point your door will be open to.
The House of Commons will debate the bill as part of its third reading from Monday of next week.