TRURO and Falmouth's MP has said she personally supports proposals to allow gay marriage – but will let her constituents influence how she votes on the issue.
Conservative Sarah Newton said she will vote on proposals for equal civil marriages according to the wishes expressed at two debates giving people the chance to air their views.
Mrs Newton will be joined by Bishop of Truro, The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, at the gatherings in Truro next Friday. The debates – in the morning and evening – will also be attended by representatives from Stonewall, the gay and lesbian rights charity, and campaign group Coalition for Marriage, which opposes the proposals.
There will be presentations from all speakers before the debate is opened to the public.
Local organisations including the Mothers' Union and Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union will also be represented.
Mrs Newton said: "Having looked in detail at the proposals put forward by the Government, I am reassured that the proposed change to civil marriage will not impact on the marriages of people of faith such as myself. I have been moved by the many constituents in same sex partnerships who have contacted me to say the ability to have a civil marriage is immensely important to them.
"It is clear that for many such couples the ability to enjoy civil marriage would serve to enrich their lives.
"Given the protection the proposals afford to churches and ministers, I can see no harm in enabling people of the same sex to enjoy marriage as I do."
The Bishop, who has stated his opposition to gay marriages taking place in church, said: "Clearly it is a matter on which people hold very strong views and I want to listen carefully and participate in the conversation to try to discern what people are thinking and understand their views."
The first meeting will be at Diocesan House from 10am to noon with the second at the Chapter House of Truro Cathedral from 6pm to 8pm.
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to register through www.sarahnewton.org.uk or by calling her office on 01872 274760.
If you cannot attend but want to share your views with Mrs Newton, contact her office.