FIONA Bruce said she voted with her conscience and in line with her Christian values when she opposed gay marriage.

The Holmes Chapel, Goostrey and Cranage MP voted against the Bill, and spoke out about same sex marriage in a debate in the House of Commons.

She said: “I believe marriage is a life commitment between a man and a woman for their benefit and the benefit of the children they may have, and for the stability of wider society, and that no Government should redefine it.”

Mrs Bruce, who supported a Coalition for Marriage petition to block gay marriage, said 95 per cent of her constituents who wrote to her about the issue shared her views.

She has been criticised by readers on the Guardian’s Facebook page for mixing politics with her religious beliefs.

MPs voted in favour of the gay marriage Bill by 400 votes to 175. Among them were Tatton MP George Osborne.

More Tories voted against the Bill – 136 – than for it – 127 – while a further 40 Conservative MPs abstained or did not vote.

The Government has said no church minister will be forced to conduct a gay marriage ceremony, but Mrs Bruce has raised concerns about other Christians such as hotel owners who may have to hold same-sex weddings to avoid discrimination laws if the Bill becomes law.

The majority of Labour MPs supported the plans, with just under 10 per cent of the party voting against the bill.

Steve Ranger, spokesman for Congleton constituency Labour Party, said: “I welcome the Commons vote on gay marriage as a long-overdue reform giving same sex couples the freedom to celebrate their love and commitment.

“At the same time I realise some MPs have deeply held beliefs that prevent them from supporting this reform.

“This is truly a matter of conscience, and I respect those with contrary views, as did the Labour Party nationally by allowing a free vote.”

Gay couples will not be entirely equal to their straight counterparts if the same-sex marriage Bill becomes law.

Under the current proposals, adultery is not grounds for divorce in a gay marriage.

Fiona Bruce MP said: “What message does it send out to young people about marriage, if faithfulness and commitment are no longer at the heart of it?

“Far from strengthening marriage and commitment in our society, the Bill risks seriously weakening them.”

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