Chance to debate gay marriage
A public debate on gay marriage is to be held in Bath.
City MP Don Foster – who supports the legislation currently passing through Parliament – has organised the meeting to allow local people to have their say ahead of its final stages.
The event takes place at the Percy Community Centre in New King Street on Tuesday (February 19), at 7pm, with doors opening at 6.30pm.
Mr Foster will be speaking in favour of the Same Sex Marriage Bill, which passed its second reading last week, and will be supported by the Rev Kieren Bourne of the Living Springs Metropolitan Church. Stewart Keiller, leader of Bath City Church, and Bath Abbey rector the Rev Edward Mason will put forward the case against the Bill. The meeting will be chaired by Bath Chronicle editor Lynne Fernquest, with questions from the audience.
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Mr Foster said: "Over the past few months I have been contacted by hundreds of Bath residents who have articulated arguments both for and against the proposals in the Same Sex Marriage Bill.
"There are understandably strong feelings on both sides of this important issue. This event will give the people of Bath the opportunity to pose questions ahead of the next stages of the Bill and the final House of Commons vote."
Mr Mason has stressed that, while he has concerns about the Bill, he strongly supports civil partnerships and the rights of the gay and lesbian community.
Mr Keiller said: "Marriage as defined by the Bible has been the basic building block of British society for about a couple of thousand years and we are literally changing the definition of this word in a rather rushed piece of legislation."
People are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment.