If you are a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that writing a letter to my MP has been on three of my four birthday lists. It shouldn’t have taken me this long to actually get around to doing it, because it’s an easy task that I could have done in an hour if I had put my mind to it.
As I’m sure you’re aware, last week, parliament voted on the Marriage (Same Sex) Bill. Now, as I understand it, it was just a debate, and therefore Same Sex Marriage is not, as yet, legal. However, the approval of the Bill is a major step forward, and it gives hope to all those (including me) that are hoping that one day all couples, regardless of their sexuality, will not be denied the right to marry. There are various levels to this debate, but my own basic views are the following: same sex marriage should be legalised, and civil partnerships should be available to all.
When I was trying to find out how my MP, John Whittingdale, voted, I googled his name and found this article on Pink News. Before the vote, he said that he would be voting against the Bill, for a number of reasons, but partly because he has “received a large number of communications from constituents on this subject and the overwhelming majority have been strongly opposed.” Now, as an MP, the main responsibility that Mr Whittingdale has, I suppose, is to represent his constituents in parliament. I don’t doubt that he is personally against the bill, but regardless of that, he believes that in voting against it, he is upholding his responsibilities. So the main reason that I decided to write him a letter is that I wanted him to know that he has constituents that disagree with him and that ‘overwhelming majority.’
Please excuse the following things in the above photos: 1) My less than professional blocking out of my personal details, and 2) If you can spot it, my misspelling of Mr Whittingdale’s name on the letter. I only noticed it after I took the photo but I amended it before I put it in the envelope!
In the letter, I gave him my views, and explained that I hoped that he had received a few more letters like mine, meaning that he couldn’t use the words ‘overwhelming majority’ in the future. A letter from me isn’t going to change his views, I am aware of that, but I just wanted his pile of ‘For Equal Marriage’ letters to stand a little bit taller.
I should add that I have been told a couple of times that John Whittingdale is a nice man, by people who have met him. I have never met him, but I have no doubt that he is a nice man. I don’t think that his political affiliation automatically makes him a bad man, and I don’t actually think that he is an outrageous homophobe. I have never heard him use the words ‘sancity of marriage’, and his reasons for voting against this bill do not single him out as a bigot. But he is my representative in parliament, and I wanted him to know how I feel about this issue. I’m posting the letter in the morning, I’ll let you know if I get a reply!
17. Write a letter to my MP