Feb 6 2013 By Ian Proctor
HARROW East MP Bob Blackman said he had been "subjected to vilification, abuse, threats to my physical well-being and threats to my office" over his opposition to gay marriage.
The Conservative Parliamentarian was an early critic of the Government's marriage (same sex couples) bill and was the only Harrow or Brent MP to speak during yesterday's debate on the proposed legislation in the House of Commons debate. He voted against it although the bill received a majority of votes needed to carry it to the House of Lords for debate.
Mr Blackman told the chamber: "I was pleased and proud early on in the discussions, when the consultation document was launched, to state publicly that I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I stand by that commitment.
"For saying that in public, I have been subjected to vilification, abuse, threats to my physical well-being and threats to my office. None has come from constituents, but from people outside my constituency.
"I have received five letters of support for a change to the sexual arrangements in marriage and 1,000 supporting my stance.
"The vast majority of my constituents share my view that there is no need for such a change.
"If I thought that same-sex couples did not have the same rights before the law in any shape or form, I would think again, but civil partnerships, introduced by Parliament well before I was elected, introduced those rights for same-sex couples."
Labour MP for Harrow West Gareth Thomas and Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner voted for the bill. Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central, voted against it.
Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, had canvassed constituents' views about the legislation on his website but in the end did not vote.