GOVERNMENT plans to legalise same-sex marriage have been opposed by one of North Yorkshire’s MPs.

The proposals were published in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill last week, but Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh said she did not believe the legislation was “appropriate at this time” because they were not included in the Conservative manifesto at the last General Election.

The Tory MP, who has received more than 300 letters and emails from constituents on the issue, said: “The Government’s attention should now be focused on reviving the economy and fulfilling our commitment made at the last election of implementing the married couples’ tax allowance.

“My understanding of marriage is very clear. It is the union of a man and a woman, for their comfort, safety and sustenance, and for the upbringing of children. Civil partnerships ensure there is no discrimination, and in my view, marriage is special and should be respected and celebrated as such.”

Miss McIntosh said it was “wrong to discriminate against homosexuals” but said: “I believe it is equally wrong to discriminate against those with strong religious beliefs, and I will be not be supporting the proposals in the Bill.”

The Bill will receive its Second Reading next Tuesday, with a free vote being held.