Lively debate on equal marriage hosted by Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton
GAY marriage, equal marriage, natural marriage and even incest marriage were all topics which were raised at a public meeting organised by a Cornwall MP today.
Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, organised the debate in Truro to help inform her decision on how to vote when a bill to legislate same sex marriage comes through Parliament.
She invited speakers from gay rights group Stonewall and the Coaliation For Marriage (C4M) to speak at the meeting which was chaired by the Bishop of Truro.
The two hour meeting this morning heard from Sharon James from C4M who told the audience that she believed that marriage was a natural union between a man and a woman.
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She also said that her group believed that marriage provided a stable setting for children to be raised.
Mrs James also argued that many gay people were not in favour of same sex marriage and questioned whether it was necessary when there was such opposition.
Luke Tryl from Stonewall said that it was an issue of equality and that gay people should have the choice of getting married or not.
He said that he believed that marriage was an important part of society and argued that gay people should be allowed to be part of that society.
He also argued that it could help combat schoolyard bullying.
A number of questions were raised by the audience with many questioning the amount of consultation which was being carried out on the issue.
Mrs Newton said she wanted as many people as possible to have the chance to comment on the proposals and encouraged anyone to contact her with their views.
One audience member questioned whether allowing equal marriage could lead to other forms of marriage being allowed and mentioned underage marriage and sibling marriage.
Another audience member said that gay marriage was just an issue of equality and that gay people wanted to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law and able to make a public statement of their love in the same way that heterosexual couples are able to.
One woman said that she was "saddened" as she had four children – three of whom who can get married in a church and one who can't, because they are gay.
A second meeting is set to be held this evening when around 120 people are expected to attend.
* For full coverage of the equal marriage debate see next Thursday's West Briton.
Read the events of the meeting as they took place via the slideshow: