Bisexual MP Simon Hughes: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman’

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats has voiced his concern with the England and Wales equal marriage bill

Bisexual MP Simon Hughes: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman’
21 May 2013

A British bisexual Member of Parliament (MP) has caused controversy in the House of Commons by saying ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’.

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said during a discussion on humanist weddings that his religious beliefs influenced his decision on whether to vote for same-sex marriages.

He has tabled an amendment that would separate church and faith-based marriage to the England and Wales equal marriage bill.

He implied he would prefer to call civil marriages civil unions, but admitted as the debate has moved on he can no longer do that.

Speaking today (21 May), Hughes said: ‘I believe that marriage is ordained by God. I believe it is traditionally ordained by god to be between one man and one woman… for the creation of children.

‘I believe it was for biological complementarity and gender complimentarily. And that’s why I have taken a traditional Christian and other faith view of marriage.’

He explained he would have, for straight couples, the ability to have a humanist wedding, a civil marriage or civil union and civil partnerships.

‘For same-sex couples I want full equal rights as a marriage, to be called either a civil marriage or a civil union and I want them to have civil partnerships too.

‘It seems to me the issue the house hasn’t wrestled with, and my new clause is seeking to do, is whether it wouldn’t be better to seek to address this need to separate for these purposes the faith and belief of people of faith who believe marriage is something ordained by God and the civic responsibility of the state to provide a place where people can come together and perform that ceremony in the eyes of the law.’

Hughes added: ‘I also believe that two men or two women can have a relationship that mirrors that between a man and a woman but is not identical. So I believe we should have separate institutions that reflects that.

‘We should as a country give equal rights to gay and straight couples but they are not going to be the same as the traditional marriage between a man and a woman.’

Hughes is deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats who, together with their coalition government partners, the Conservatives, are pushing plans for full marriage equality in England and Wales.

The House of Commons is about to vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill. If it passes, it will go to the House of Lords for further discussion.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

GOProud loses Breitbart's support

Breitbart walks away from GOProud
No thumbnail available

SS16 London Collections: Men – Oliver Spencer

Strings, stars, and sensible separates.
No thumbnail available

‘Gay’ Saudi Arabian prince to face jail at home

Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir killed his manservant while in a London five-star hotel, and is being transferred to Saudi Arabia
No thumbnail available

Rosie O'Donnell makes video to explain herself - last day on The View is Thursday

Despite urging by her co-hosts, she didn't want to discuss leaving The View on Monday's show
No thumbnail available

Gay and lesbian couples speak out for marriage on YouTube

Gay couples explain what same-sex marriage means to them in UK government video campaign
No thumbnail available

Emmy nominee Freddie Smith talks to GSN about playing gay on NBC's Days of Our Lives

‘I never imagined that it would be this great. I just really love this storyline from the bottom of my heart'
No thumbnail available

Christians who refused to help gays take case to European court

Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane, who refused to provide services for gay people, are among four Christians taking appeals to European Court of Human Rights today
No thumbnail available

Demi Lovato to play lesbian on Glee

US singer confirms she will be returning to acting as she plays  Santana's love interest on the Fox musical comedy drama
No thumbnail available

United Nations will now recognize gay marriage

The world’s top level of government will now give equal benefits and recognition to its workers who are in same-sex relationships who have legally wed
Preview: Geoffrey Hyland on F*cking Men

Preview: Geoffrey Hyland on F*cking Men

Get your diaries out – this could be London's must-see show of the summer.