REDDITCH’S MP has voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill after, she said, her constituents were “overwhelmingly against” the move.

On Tuesday, MPs voted in favour of the bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225, in a key Commons vote, with Prime Minister David Cameron calling it “an important step forward” and Labour leader Ed Milliband labelling it a “proud day”.

If it becomes law, the bill will enable same-sex couples, who are currently able to engage in civil partnerships, to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies - the latter only with the consent of religious institutions.

Talking of her decision to vote against the bill, Karen Lumley said it was something she had agonised long and hard over.

She said: “I would like to highlight that some of my closest friends are gay, so I do very much understand both sides of the debate.

“The correspondence I have received from my constituents on this issue has been overwhelmingly against a move to legalise marriage between people of the same sex. Considering the will of the people of Redditch is of vital importance in my decision to vote on any issue.

“This is legislation on a deeply emotive issue which is being passed through Parliament far too quickly without the proper scrutiny needed to introduce a change of law of this magnitude. The notion of marriage between people of different genders is deeply rooted in English law and therefore any change to this will significantly impact upon both the definition of marriage and the institution of marriage itself.

“It is my firm belief that everybody is entitled to civil partnerships regardless of whether that is with a person of a different gender or not. There is an issue regarding people of different sexes being unable to have a civil partnership and I feel that this also needs to be addressed.”

And she added that her main priority in Redditch has been to create jobs and support businesses.

“Since being elected in 2010, the Government inherited the most serious and difficult economic challenges since the war. I believe our central focus should be on ensuring economic prosperity and that now is not the right time to be voting on this issue.”

She said since the vote was announced, she had consulted with a diverse range of people with an array of differing opinions and was deeply concerned that such an emotive issue had been “pushed through Parliament” without being in any of the major parties’ manifestos.

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