Whilst the majority of MPs voted in favour of equal marriage, nearly half of the Conservative Party and a handful of Labour and LibDem MPs failed to support the Bill, including local MP Greg Mulholland.
Angered by his position, students from both Leeds and Leeds Met Universities braved blizzard conditions to protest against his position outside Leeds Town Hall, gaining coverage in the local Leeds press and on the BBC.
In a statement on his website Mr Mulholland said “In terms of my own position, I do agree unequivocally that all adults must be treated equally in terms of legal recognition of their relationship” however he said the bill was “a confused and flawed piece of legislation that does not actually deliver equality as it proposes different definitions of marriage for heterosexual and same sex couples”.
Mr Mulholland, who is a practising Catholic, explained his decision to abstain. “I was unable to support the Bill at second reading, however nor did I want to vote against it or what would be misinterpreted as my being anti equal legal rights, which I am very clearly not.” In other news, the Parkinson building has been illuminated this week to mark the start of LGBT History Month.
Words: James Greenhalgh