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Churches won't be forced to marry gay couples - MP

Friday 10 Aug 2012 6:38 a.m.

Ms Wall says MPs are entitled to vote no as it's a conscience vote

Ms Wall says MPs are entitled to vote no as it's a conscience vote

The MP backing a bill to legalise gay marriage says education is the key to overcoming prejudice amongst conservative groups.

Labour's Louisa Wall is facing a backlash from within her own caucus - some MPs representing conservative, Pacific Island communities, are opposed.

She says they're perfectly entitled to vote no as it's a conscience vote, and she's reassuring Pacific church leaders.

"They will not have to marry same-sex couples… [a church leader] said he'd rather go to jail than marry a same-sex couple, and I said, 'You won't have to. My bill doesn't make this mandatory – in fact, you will retain the choice.'"

Ms Wall says MPs should vote with their hearts and represent the differing views of their communities.

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