Gay marriage approval

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WIGAN MPs have voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

The borough’s three MPs voted for the new legislation which had the House of Commons divided.

The bill was passed by a margin of 400 to 175 despite opposition from more than half of Conservative MPs.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “I’ve received a large number of letters and emails from people in Wigan.

“The majority of those against gay marriage are concerned with religious freedom. In response to their questions, Ministers have confirmed that no religious institution will be forced to hold ceremonies, unless they choose to do so. I believe that marriage is an important way to help support and sustain strong relationships. It is wrong that people are barred from marriage on the basis of their sexuality, so I fully support it.”

Leigh MP Andy Burnham said: “I appreciate that this issue provokes strong opinions on both sides and I do believe in the traditional view of marriage but I also believe in full equality before the law.

“What matters is the love and commitment that two people share for each other irrespective of sexual orientation.”

“For this reason I supported the Bill and am pleased that an overwhelming majority of MPs did so too.”

Ministers have described the passing of the bill as an important step forward for the country and equality, although not all agree. Seven North West MPs voted against same-sex marriage whereas five abstained.

Labour MP Rosie Cooper, who’s constituency includes Skelmersdale, is one of those on the list who voted against.

Wigan’s Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite, has been supporting gay marriage.

He said: “I am unbelievably chuffed that the bill has been passed.

“This means homosexual couples can finally feel 100 per cent accepted by their country and they can start to focus on their own lives without the feeling of constraint on their liberty. Our country hasn’t let us down.”