Jones, who voted against the recent Marriage bill which allows same-sex couples to tie the knot, recently spoke on a regional ITV political programme about the reason he chose not to support marriage equality.
“I was one of two cabinet ministers who did vote against it and it was for various reasons. Certainly in constituency terms, I felt that overwhelmingly the constituents of Clwyd West were opposed to the change. But also I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do. Which is not to say that I’m in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships.” he said on ITV Wales’ Face to Face.
The comments by the Tory were deemed ‘insulting’ and ‘offensive’ by Labour’s shadow equalities minister Kate Green while LGBT campaign body Stonewall said they were ‘saddened’ by the comments.
Jones, who has been the Member of Parliament for Clwyd West since May 2005, released a statement today to clarify his earlier television broadcast comments.
“I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same-sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing of children. I made the point of stressing that I was fully supportive of committed same-sex relationships. I also strongly approve of civil partnerships. I did not say in the interview that same-sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view. I simply sought to point out that, since same-sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners.”
On February 5th MPs voted 400 to 175, a majority of 225 in favour, for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.