MP 'has an open mind about gay marriages'

OXFORD West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has distanced herself from claims she is opposed to legalising gay marriage.

Despite initially writing to constituents to state she would vote against any bill, she has now said she will wait to see any proposed legislation before deciding her position.

It followed criticism from Oxford University undergraduates.

The MP, below, said she felt allowing same-sex couples to marry would open the door to legal rows and human rights infringement cases.

Junior Common Room (JCR) presidents from colleges across the university – including that of Miss Blackwood’s former college St Anne’s, along with Queen’s, Exeter, St Peter’s, Wadham and Somerville colleges – have signed a letter stating their anger at her stance.

It reads: “We are appalled to hear of your intention to oppose legislation on equal marriage and believe it inadequately represents your constituency considering its high student population.”

A further petition has also been sent from 38 JCR and Middle Common Room (MCR) presidents with 200 names on the St Anne’s list alone.

But the MP said her quotes had been taken out of context in student newspapers, and she felt churches should have the right to decide who to marry.

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She wrote: “As a strong supporter of civil partnerships and opponent of discrimination in all its forms, I have no principled objection to equal marriage in secular institutions.

“My initial opposition arose from the fact there was no plan to protect religious institutions from litigation and my current concerns are whether the ‘Quadruple Lock’ will be effective.”

The ‘Quadruple Lock’ promises to guarantee that no religious groups would be required to conduct such ceremonies against their will.

She added: “As yet there is no legislation for me to scrutinise but I can assure you I will continue to listen to the views and concerns of constituents on both sides.”

Somerville lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and queer spokesman Matthew Robinson said Miss Blackwell “grossly misunderstood” the gay community.

He said: “It is not solely acknowledgement that we desire. It is, rather, equality.”

Oxford Pride chairman Rafe Jeune said: “We are striving for equality for everyone and we want to see gay marriage legalised.”

Plans were unveiled last month and a bill is expected to be introduced in the New Year, with the first ceremonies possible as early as 2014.

Comments (7)

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3:56pm Wed 2 Jan 13

carfax cabby ox1 says...

Ok, so Miss u-turn is against Gay Marriage, but will let her principles go by the wayside in case it costs her votes in the Oxford part of her constituency. She is sure learning the art of politics very quickly.
Ok, so Miss u-turn is against Gay Marriage, but will let her principles go by the wayside in case it costs her votes in the Oxford part of her constituency. She is sure learning the art of politics very quickly. carfax cabby ox1
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

She wrote: “As a strong supporter of civil partnerships and opponent of discrimination in all its forms, I have no principled objection to equal marriage in secular institutions.

Well right there, Ms Blackwood, is a lie. The Tory ethos is to discriminate against the weak and vulnerable in society while benefiting yourselves and your rich friends and you signed up to it when you became a Tory.
She wrote: “As a strong supporter of civil partnerships and opponent of discrimination in all its forms, I have no principled objection to equal marriage in secular institutions. Well right there, Ms Blackwood, is a lie. The Tory ethos is to discriminate against the weak and vulnerable in society while benefiting yourselves and your rich friends and you signed up to it when you became a Tory. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Bladder says...

I thought is was Adam & Eve !
Not Adam & Steve.
I thought is was Adam & Eve ! Not Adam & Steve. Bladder
  • Score: 0

7:51am Thu 3 Jan 13

livid99 says...

Why does she have to change her views just because a bunch of students are angry at her ? Its reached the stage where people are demonised for saying they do not agree with gay marriages.
If Miss Blackwood does not agree with the idea of gay marriage, she should stick with her view and not be pressurised into changing it just because some student activists decide to pick on her.
Everyone promotes freedom of speech, but if you choose to use that freedom to say anything that gays disagree with, they make hell about it.
Why does she have to change her views just because a bunch of students are angry at her ? Its reached the stage where people are demonised for saying they do not agree with gay marriages. If Miss Blackwood does not agree with the idea of gay marriage, she should stick with her view and not be pressurised into changing it just because some student activists decide to pick on her. Everyone promotes freedom of speech, but if you choose to use that freedom to say anything that gays disagree with, they make hell about it. livid99
  • Score: 0

10:35am Thu 3 Jan 13

xjohnx says...

A serious question.

Serious answers only please.

In the legal sense, at what point is a single sex marriage considered to be comsumated?

The legal and religeous ramifications of consumation within marriage are massive, and can affect inheritance, validity, status within the law, etc.
A serious question. Serious answers only please. In the legal sense, at what point is a single sex marriage considered to be comsumated? The legal and religeous ramifications of consumation within marriage are massive, and can affect inheritance, validity, status within the law, etc. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Sophia says...

"A serious question. "

No, it isnt. The issue of whether or not a heterosexual marriage had been consumated used to be important when church law said that a marriage not consumated could be void, also legitimacy ir not of kids.

Neither issue applies to gays therefore question is not serious

However, if you are that anxious to study how gay men have sex with each other there are plenty of websites where you can go get a good look and maybe sort yourself out
"A serious question. " No, it isnt. The issue of whether or not a heterosexual marriage had been consumated used to be important when church law said that a marriage not consumated could be void, also legitimacy ir not of kids. Neither issue applies to gays therefore question is not serious However, if you are that anxious to study how gay men have sex with each other there are plenty of websites where you can go get a good look and maybe sort yourself out Sophia
  • Score: 0

2:25am Sat 5 Jan 13

Abingdon Neil says...

Well said Sophia.

@livid99 She doesn't have to change her mind, but those who disagree with her are as entitled to express their view as Nicola is to express hers.

Stating disagreement with her view is not 'demonising' her, nor is it 'making hell'.

And it isn't just gay people who support equailty. I'm a straight, happily married father of four, and I strongly believe that two people who love each other and want to commit to each other should be able to get married, regardless of their gender.
Well said Sophia. @livid99 She doesn't have to change her mind, but those who disagree with her are as entitled to express their view as Nicola is to express hers. Stating disagreement with her view is not 'demonising' her, nor is it 'making hell'. And it isn't just gay people who support equailty. I'm a straight, happily married father of four, and I strongly believe that two people who love each other and want to commit to each other should be able to get married, regardless of their gender. Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 0

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