WARRINGTON'S two MPs have voted in favour of gay marriage.

Conservative David Mowat, Warrington South, and Labour's Helen Jones, Warrington North, both backed the proposal in the House of Commons last night.

Mr Mowat said:  “I have received a large volume of correspondence from my constituents about the bill and I have considered the arguments made, both for and against, in detail.

“Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the Government should not be preventing two people who love each other from getting married.

“However, it is also vital that those with strong religious beliefs receive protection.

“The bill is aimed at civil (ie  non-religious) marriage – which has been conducted outside of churches for nearly 150 years – but it does allow religious organisations to perform gay marriages if they wish.

“However, there are important safeguards in place to perform such a ceremony, both the individual minister and the entire organisation must have ‘opted in’ and it will be illegal to force a minister to perform a ceremony or allow a premises to be used for that purpose.

“Freedom of religion cuts both ways. Of course we should not force religious organisations to allow same sex marriages against their will (and this bill does not), but neither should the state prevent some religions offering this service if they wish to.

“I understand the Quakers wish to perform church based same sex marriage and this bill will permit that.

“The bill as drafted represents a sensible compromise and I am pleased to support it.”

Warrington North MP Helen Jones also voted in favour and said it was a ‘step forward while still respecting those who disagree’.

More votes and debates will be needed however before the bill becomes more law.