AN hereditary peer from North Devon, whose father voted to decriminalise homosexuality in 1967, is set to vote against plans to legalise gay marriage in the House of Lords today.
And he also says he fears for the future of a “decadent” Great Britain.
Lord Arran, the ninth Earl of Arran, says he will vote against the bill, which made it through the House of Commons a week ago, despite the opposition of 133 Tory MPs.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales would allow couples who can currently form civil partnerships to marry.
But Lord Arran, who lives at the Castle Hill Estate in Filleigh, opposes it.
And he says his father, who he succeeded in 1983, would have done the same.
“I’m one of those, maybe old fashioned, people who think the whole point of marriage is to produce children,” he said.
“While two people can still be happily married without children I don’t see the point.”
And he believes his father would have felt the same.
“He was a very brave man,” said Lord Arran, “and he bought about this decriminalisation in 1967.
“But at the time he said he very much hoped as a result there wouldn’t be any flaunting of homosexuality.
“I feel like this bill could be that.”
Lord Arran also asked where the drive for equality would end.
“Is the government going to insist 10 per cent of MPs must be gay?” he said.
“I’m joking of course, but where is it going to stop?”
“The Roman empire fell for three reasons.
“There was the worship of sporting heroes, widespread corruption and the decadence and flaunting of homosexuality.
“I fear that in this country we aren’t too far from being decadent.”
And Lord Arran says he isn’t too sure how the vote will go today.
“It’ll be a narrow defeat or a narrow victory,” he said.
“If it does pass I don’t think it’s a case that it’s home and dry.”
Do you support same sex marriage? Vote in our poll now. It can be found on the left-hand side of this page or by visiting www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/polls.