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Hi Richard,

I’ve written to you on several occasions on this subject and I was bitterly disappointed to see that you have abstained from the vote. Even though the bill was passed though to the committee stage, by a large majority. I understand that you voted with the programme and the money side of things, but not on the bill in principal.
I saw your speech in the Commons this week, and after watching it several times over, I wanted to address your comments on faith.
I think Polly Toynbee put it correctly when she wrote in The Guardian this week:
“As to the Bible, why the cherry-picking? Moses brought detailed rules down from the mountain. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, God banned homosexuality: “you shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female: it is an abomination”. So why don’t Christians observe his other rules – banning haircuts, tattoos, eating pigs and shellfish or wearing a garment of two kinds of material mixed together? As for transgender people, “a man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of God”. In the same list of rules, if a wife goes to the aid of her husband in a fight by seizing his foe’s testicles “then you shall cut off her hand”. From those prehistoric times comes that atavistic distaste for homosexuality, wrapped in religion. But that war was lost when gay sex was legalised, and now civil partnership confers equal inheritance rights. In parliament today the old guard rallies for one last stand, but the fight is only over a word.”
I believe the organised religion is fully of hypocrisy and as Christian who attended St. Mary’s Church in Bedford and later The Kings Arms I have a full understanding and appreciation of scripture. If I were to ever have children, I would want them to attend Sunday school. A private relationship with god is for me important in life, however – preaching and telling people “you can’t do this, you can’t do that because the bible says so” is wrong. The bible condones slavery, violence and it is widely recognised that religion is responsible for most of the wars in the world. 
 
On this issue of the evolution of marriage, I think it’s also important to recognise that marriage does not belong to religion. It pre-dates Christianity by thousands of years and there is evidence of same sex marriage in Ancient Egypt (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Egypt)
 
I would like you to consider these points and also there are a few additional things I would also like you to consider before you are asked to vote again:
 
There has been a time when interracial marriage was illegal.
There was a time when it was accepted that women could be raped by their husbands.
I am aware of many gay couple who want to be married and refuse a civil partnership. This bill could boost the economy.
 
I heard many heartfelt and passionate speeches in the commons this week (I saw the entire debate) and many of your conservative colleagues would use the argument “I support civil partnerships, it gives all the legal rights and there is no mandate  for this bill”
However, the names below are of the conservative MPs who voted against Civil Partnership and against the Equal Marriage bill. I can only come the conclusion that they do not feel that gay, lesbian and bisexual people do not deserve the same rights that they as heterosexuals are afforded. I will be writing to each of them in term and to LGBT organisations in their constituencies to demand an explanation. Because as I have Polly Toynbee pointed out, there are many parts of the bible that they most likely don’t adhere to – therefore deeming the religious argument moot.
 
Those conservatives are:
 
David Amess (Southend West)
James Arbuthnot (North East Hampshire)
Julian Brazier (Canterbury)
William Cash (Stone)
Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks)
John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings)
Gerald Howath (Aldershot)
Greg Knight (East Yorkshire)
Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
David Lidlington (Aylesbury)
Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden)
Anne McIntosh (formerly Vale of York, now Thirsk and Malton)
Owen Paterson (North Shropshire)
Andrew Robathan (formerly Blaby, now South Leicestershire)
Andrew Rosindell (Romford)
Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
I hope you’ve got time to read the emails that I’ve been sending, even though I’ve not had a reply since the article in the Times and Citizen. 
 
A copy of this email has been published on my blog https://anthonyjohnmaxwell.wordpress.com and circulated via twitter, facebook and LinkedIn.
 
Regards,
 
Anthony Maxwell
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