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MPs vote in favour of gay marriage
MPs have voted in favour of gay marriage.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has received the backing of 400 MPs, with just 175 voting against.
The decision has been welcomed by Worcester publican Lee Winters, who now hopes to be able to marry his partner.
The landlord of the Brewery Tap in Lowesmoor, said he has been longing for the day when he can tie the knot.
"It has been a long time coming - I am looking to get married to my partner this year so it will have a huge impact on me,” he said.
“It is definitely something I have been waiting for.
“I would like to get married and to do it properly and I don’t see any reason why I should not be allowed to.”
He said a lot of people in Worcester would be “chuffed to bits” that the vote had gone through.
“Getting married is a fundamental thing,” he added. “You cannot help who you love.
“I was born this way, it is not a fashion statement.”
Mr Winters, who is managing director of Worcester LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Network, will now hope Bill becomes law.
But it was not as clear cut for other county MPs - with Harriett Baldwin, who represents West Worcestershire abstaining and Wyre Forest’s Mark Garnier changing his mind and voting against it.
Mrs Baldwin said: “"I am aware that this change was not explicitly outlined in the manifesto on which I stood for election and many constituents have contacted me with a range of questions and objections.
“Some questions remain unanswered by the bill in its current form.”
Mr Garnier told your Worcester News back in December how he was “pretty relaxed” about the bill and was prepared to support the principle of it.
But he released a statement saying the sheer scale of opposition to it from constituents led to him voting it down.
He said too many people were “concerned about the implications.”
The bill specifies that the Church of England will be banned from offering same-sex marriages, but allows any other religious groups to “opt in” and hold one.
* The bill will now go to a committee in the House of Commons which will be tasked with scrutinising it and can make amendments.
It will then go for a third and final reading in the commons where they will be asked to look at any changes before it goes to the House of Lords.
The lords can sent it back to the commons for further revisions but if it is backed, it then goes on to become law.