Gay teen’s marriage campaign wins public support

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A 19-year-old Spalding gay marriage campaigner stood out in the cold and rain on Boxing Day to collect signatures to support her cause.

Suzi Paddison said she was horrified to read in the Lincolnshire Free Press that local MP John Hayes intended to vote against the Government’s bid to legalise same-sex marriage.

In the two hours she spent conducting a survey in the town centre, she said she collected more than 100 signatures from people who live in Mr Hayes’ constituency but did not share his views.

She said: “Considering it was Boxing Day and town was very quiet I am very happy that so many people wanted to show their support.

“I think that if town had been busier I would have been able to get a lot more than I did.

“I wanted to show there are people living in this area who do support gay marriage and give them a chance to let MP John Hayes know.”

Extracts from the letter that sparked the campaign were featured in last week’s Free Press.

Joan Woolard, of Fleet Hargate, had written to Mr Hayes in support of a campaign run by the family Education Trust, which opposes the Government’s plans.

In his reply, he said he believed marriage should be a union between a man and a woman and claimed the roots of many of Britain’s social problems could be traced to “a decline in marriages as well as an increase in divorces”.

Suzi, a student in her second year at Lincoln University, lives with her parents in Sharman Way during the holidays.

She said: “I am in a very happy relationship with a girl I met at uni and we have been together for over a year. We both have strong views about LGBT matters and believe that marriage is a very important part of life and a relationship.

“I would love to be able get married one day but not in a church as I am not a religious person.

“I don’t understand why churches are so against the legislation plans for gay marriage because they will not be forced to perform them. Also I don’t think that any couple, gay or straight, would want to be married in a place that didn’t support it and by a person who didn’t hold truth in the words they say while marrying them.

“I hope John Hayes sees the support and will act as a voice for his constituency and not just project his own views.”