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A third of Cornwall MPs abstain from voting on gay marriage

By Jo_Wood  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Stephen Gilbert

Stephen Gilbert who spoke

Comments (25)

A third of Cornwall MPs abstained from voting on the bill to legalise gay marriage.

The bill was passed in parliament last night by 400 'ayes' to 175 'noes'. The four Cornwall MPs who voted all did so in favour of the bill which has caused much controversy in the Duchy.

How Cornwall MPs voted:

George Eustice, Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth: Abstain

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Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives: Aye

Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Asutell and Newquay: Aye

Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for Southeast Cornwall: Abstain

Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth: Aye

Dan Rogerson, Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall: Aye

In an impassioned speech before the vote Liberal Democrat MP for Newquay and St Austell, Stephen Gilbet, said "I declare an interest: I am a gay man who grew up in a rural part of our country in Cornwall and am from a working-class background.

"I grew up 20-odd years ago in an environment that made it hugely difficult for me to be open, honest and up-front with my family, friends and workmates about the choices I wanted to take in life and the people I wanted to see.

"That was unacceptable 20-odd years ago and it is unacceptable today, but it remains the case for many hundreds of thousands of people across our country."

Wearing a rainbow-coloured tie, the MP continued, "I welcome this historic Bill, which I think will end a form of discrimination and, perhaps more crucially, send a signal that this House values everybody equally across our country.

"We know that marriage is an important institution that delivers many benefits, including stability, health and happiness.

"If we recognise those benefits, why would we keep them from some of our neighbours who seek to enjoy them and whose faith allows them to do so?

"We would not tolerate that level of discrimination in any other sphere of life and we should end it tonight in this one.

"Equal marriage will not be the end of the struggle for gay equality, in the same way that delivering the franchise to women and ending apartheid were not the end of those battles.

"However, it will allow us to start asking the right questions and to answer the other problems, and it will send a clear signal that we value everybody equally."

What do you think of the result? Are you happy with how your MP voted? Comment below:

-Jo is a digital journalist and editor based in Cornwall working as a Regional Digital Publisher, Devon and Cornwall, for Local World.

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25 comments

  • Carolebb  |  February 11 2013, 11:11PM

    I see that my comments about the editor of this is Cornwall website displaying her biased politics on here have been deleted....thus proving my point. Clearly this is only a forum for debate if the bosses at Cornwall and Devon Media agree with the nature of the debate. The leading news and information website for Cornwall? Don't make me laugh....

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  • Charlespk  |  February 08 2013, 9:58AM

    You are exactly right Justin. . We are in agreement.

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  • eu_blues  |  February 06 2013, 10:35PM

    "Equality is everyone's duty. Even MP's." Elizabeth 2010 Don't make me laugh. Equality has never existed. It's a word that's been used to further an agenda. What "equality" are we talking about here?...

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  • Charlespk  |  February 06 2013, 8:40PM

    Don't worry; people will remember. They always remember. http://tinyurl.com/b3a3tkv

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  • hellomabel  |  February 06 2013, 8:14PM

    "A third of Cornwall MPs abstain from voting on gay marriage" A more honest way of putting it is that all the Conservative MPs abstained, while all the Liberal Democrats voted in favour. I hope voters remember who voted with their conscience in favour of equality and who chickened out.

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  • Charlespk  |  February 06 2013, 6:29PM

    Irrelevant rubbish. . And it's nothing to do with sanctity either. . Tony Blair's New-Labour started this destruction of the married state, ignoring its necessity for the whole well being of our population, and David Cameron is now trying to destroy what's left of it. . We are now being consumed and destroyed by this internet revolution. . Our forefathers must all be turning in their graves. I've just been listening to the the report into the crisis in the NHS. . The crisis is in peoples teaching and standards of behaviour. But they all know their rights!!! Rant over. . I'll be voting UKIP from now on.

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  • RobertJPowell  |  February 06 2013, 5:44PM

    50 years ago, were not similar arguments regarding the sanctity of marriage raised about marriage between different races Charlespk?

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  • Charlespk  |  February 06 2013, 5:34PM

    This is not about equality or Christianity. . It's about our differences. . Men are different from women, and obviously women are different from men. . Two people of the same sex can and should be able to have a legal 'partnership' if they so chose. . 'Partners' are commonplace now, but they can never be 'married' what ever ceremony they go through. . That would be changing the meaning of the word. . David Cameron has inflicted more damage on the Conservative Party than any politician of any Party, throughout the whole 20th Century of any party ever could. . . That must be a record. .

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  • RobertJPowell  |  February 06 2013, 4:42PM

    Actually yes, I do feel all abortions are OK as I believe in the woman's right to choose just as I believe in the right to contraception (and contraception isn't a 100% bet). Only one of the more sensible Christian teachings (abstinence) is the 100% sure fire way of not getting pregnant. However, this is hardly the place to debate the merits (or as some would say, fallacy) of Abortion as a method of contraception. I respect that as a Christian you believe Homosexuality (thus gay marriage) is wrong and that abortion is wrong. I respect the fact that in a free country you have the right to those views. I ask that you respect the rights of non believers (and even at least some believers) and their views. No one is going to force a Church, a Synagogue or a Mosque (or any other place of worship) to perform homosexual marriages. We don't have that right. By extension, in this country, no religion has the right to stop homosexuals getting married in a registry office or by a registrar at a suitable location if this bill gets passed and brought into the current marriage legislation. I have made my point quite clear on a matter.

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  • mrcrashhappy  |  February 06 2013, 4:38PM

    Slouching to Gomorrah. Radicals deconstructing the culture to serve political ends are not liberal egalitarians. However, the trend will probably stop before legalisation of pederasty and bestiality when the Islamists violently revolt and found Anglostan.

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