North and West Devon MPs clash over gay marriage vote
The MPs for North Devon and West Devon and Torridge have expressed different opinions in yesterday's gay marriage vote.
While Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon, voted in favour of same-sex marriages, Geoffrey Cox for Conservative MP for West Devon and Torridge voted in opposition.
Mr Harvey said of the bill: "This is not something I put on the agenda, it is something the Prime Minister put on the agenda and I just viewed it in terms of equality and equal rights.
"I appreciate a lot of people with strong religious convictions disagree with it but we are talking about a civil marriage in a registry office which is something people of no religion are entitled to on the same basis as anyone else.
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"I am confident there is no risk of forcing religious groups to do this if they do not want to. I think this is a natural progression of rights."
The majority of MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill yesterday, with 400 for and 175 against.
But almost half of the Conservative party were opposed to the changes, wtih 136 voting against gay marriage and 127 in favour. 35 did not vote and five abstained.
The majority vote means MPs appove of the Bill in principle but it will require further scrutiny before being formally approved.
Gay couples can currently engage in civil partnerships but, if passed as law, the same-sex bill will allow them to have civil and religious ceremonies, giving them the same status as straight couples.
Prime Minister David Cameron was in favour of the bill.