MPs declaring early support for equal marriage outnumber opponents three to one

Stephen Gray May 14, 2012
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Of the members of Parliament to have made early public statements on marriage equality, those who are likely in principle to vote for the government’s proposals to allow gay couples to marry outnumber opponents three to one.

According to website of the Coalition for Equal Marriage, which has begun tracking the statements of MPs regarding the government’s proposals to open up civil marriage to gay and straight couples equally, those members making an early declaration of support roundly outstrip the opposition.

Today, 107 of 650 MPs have made their support for such a move known, compared with 36 who have indicated at this stage that they will vote against it.

Six MPs are neutral and the vast majority, 507, are yet to make their intention known.

The figures are drawn up from local press reports, opinions published on MPs’ blogs and letters sent to constituents and forwarded on to the Coalition for Equal Marriage.

Though the current numbers may not be enough to accurately predict the outcome of a final vote at the House of Commons, there is a notably stronger disposition to publicly declare support than opposition at this early stage.

The Coalition for Equal Marriage hopes the early figures put a different perspective on the impression given by media reports which focus on the relatively small number of MPs to declare their opposition.

As time goes by and more MPs’ views on marriage equality in principle are made known, the picture drawn up by the site should become more accurate.

The Coalition for Equal Marriage has therefore issued a fresh call for constituents to find out their member’s view.

James Lattimore, co-founder of the Coalition for Equal Marriage told “There has been an incredible amount of talk over the past few weeks about whether the current proposals for same-sex civil marriage have sufficient parliamentary support – with whispered insinuations from the usual back-bench Tory MPs that they don’t, and thus will fail.

“We’re hoping that by tracking MPs positions with regard to equal marriage, we can offer a degree of clarity to the debate and effectively counter the rumours and hearsay.

“The page will also help direct our supporters’ lobbying efforts – offering an indication of whether their local MP should be thanked for supporting LGBT rights, or whether they should be politely encouraged to change their mind.”

A ComRes poll for the Coalition for Marriage, which was formed to oppose the move, found most MPs, 56 percent, thought the proposals would succeed in Parliament. 41 percent of Tories believed the legislation would pass, 37 percent thought it would fail. encourages readers to respond to the Home Office’s public consultation on how to introduce marriage equality, which closes one month from today.

Related topics: Coalition for Equal Marriage, equal marriage, Gay, gay marriage, Government, marriage, marriage equality, Out4Marriage, parliament, UK

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