Tory rebellion grows against same-sex marriage Bill

May 21, 2013

Last night, 33 Tory MPs joined the growing rebellion against David Cameron’s handling of the Bill to redefine marriage (full list of names below). These are additional Tory MPs to the 137 who voted against the Bill at Second Reading in February.

They voted against the Government line and supported at least one amendment to protect the civil liberty of people who believe in traditional marriage. And 21 Labour MPs rejected their party line to support at least one protection. Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith voted to protect liberty of conscience for marriage registrars.

There were three votes last night to defend the civil liberty of people who believe in traditional marriage, and a vote on extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. The Government opposed all three civil liberty protections, but more Conservative MPs voted for them than against them. And on extending civil partnerships to straight couples, the Government had to grab a lifeline from Labour to avoid defeat.

Colin Hart, campaign director of Coalition for Marriage, said: “The growing rebellion against the Bill shows that we are winning the argument and gaining momentum. An increasing number of MPs from all sides believe the Bill will harm the civil liberty of ordinary people who believe marriage should remain as it is.

“The Government grabbed a £4bn Labour lifeline, meaning the Bill now carries a ticking time bomb of extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. That’s yet another development which wasn’t a manifesto pledge, and which will undermine marriage. It’s a complete dog’s breakfast. We always said this Bill would unravel the meaning of marriage, and now we have been proved right. It’s time to drop this expensive, undemocratic and divisive Bill.”

The three civil liberty protections voted on last night were:

New Clause 3
Protecting marriage registrars who believe in traditional marriage.
150 in favour
340 against

New Clause 6
Making clear that traditional beliefs about marriage should be protected under equality laws.
148 in favour
339 against

New Clause 8
Protecting clergy from being punished for opting out of same-sex weddings
163 in favour
321 against

The 33 Tory MPs who voted against the Government line on one or more of the three civil liberty protections (but had not previously rebelled) were:

Barclay, Steve
Berry, Jake
Blackwood, Nicola
Brokenshire, James
Clark, Greg
Collins, Damian
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Field, Mark
Fuller, Richard
Green, Damian
Harris, Rebecca
Hinds, Damian
Hoban, Mark
Howell, John
Jones, Andrew
Kelly, Chris
Leadsom, Andrea
Lee, Phillip
Leslie, Charlotte
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Luff, Peter
Mills, Nigel
Ollerenshaw, Eric
Perry, Claire
Phillips, Stephen
Pincher, Christopher
Prisk, Mark
Raab, Dominic
Stewart, Iain
Uppal, Paul
Walker, Robin
Wilson, Robert