The Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes, has spoken during the debate around the equal marriage bill for England and Wales, to say that he “struggled with the issue of sexuality”, for years.

During debate around an amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill tabled by Conservative MP David Burrowes, urging for registrars to be allowed to opt out of performing marriages for gay couples, which was defeated in the House of Commons, Mr Hughes expressed several interest in the bill, and surrounding amendments.

MPs voted 340 to 150 to reject the amendment. Mr Hughes voted for the amendment.

The openly bisexual Mr Hughes said: “I have three relevant interests. First, I have struggled with the issue of sexuality since I was a teenager, like my hon. Friend Stephen Williams. I remember that at school it was not an easy issue in the slightest.

“Everybody knew that there were gay people at school, but it was never taught or spoken about formally. Secondly, I am chair of the board of governors of a Church of England primary school. Thirdly, I am a trustee of a Church of England secondary school. We have excellent teachers who do their jobs very well, but I have to say that there is still some nervousness.”

Last week Maria Miller, the Minister for Equalities, rejected a claim made by Mr Hughes that same-sex marriage is being “fast tracked” through Parliament without the proper consultations.

Yesterday, the bill risked being derailed and required the support of Labour MPs to overcome a potentially lethal wrecking amendment.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is to receive a third and final Commons reading throughout this afternoon and evening.