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MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, has said he will vote against the leagalisation of religious same sex marriages.

The Coalition Government is seeking to legalise same sex marriage.

On Tuesday, Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced the Church of England and Church of Wales would be barred from conducting ceremonies but other religious organisations would be able to if they wished.

Mr Ruffley said: “My view on this important institution is clear and unambiguous. Marriage in Judaeo-Christian civilisation means a union between a man and a woman.

“It is not a union between individuals of the same gender. Those individuals of the same sex who wish to enter into a meaningful union can do so by means of a civil partnership.”

The news of Mr Ruffley’s decision to vote against same sex marriages was greeted positively by the Rev Jonathan Ford, of Christ Church, Moreton Hall.

Mr Ford said that he took the orthodox view of marriage and could say ‘with confidence’ that the clergy members he has spoken to ‘fully backed’ Mr Ruffley’s decision.

For same sex couples wishing to marry a non-religious civil partnership is the only option.

Will Fordham, communications and press manager at Suffolk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network, said: “This move towards legislation for officially recognised same sex marriage represents a major shift towards us all being part of a society that is truly equal.”

Mr Fordham said the majority of LGBT members felt the option of a religious marriage should be available to them.

The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “Everyone is welcome within the Church, and we do not want to be in any way homophobic, cause hurt or division, or to be seen as demeaning gay people, because this is not the case.

“I would ask whether there is any advantage in marriage for gay people in the form that it is proposed that civil partnerships do not already offer.”