FOUR of Somerset’s five MPs voted in favour of gay marriage during last night’s historic vote in the House of Commons.

The second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill went through by a majority of 225 MPs, with 400 voting in favour and 175 against.

It will now face further Parliamentary scrutiny before it can become law.

LibDems Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane), David Laws (Yeovil), David Heath (Somerton and Frome) and Tessa Munt (Wells) all voted for the bill.

Mr Browne said: “I believe people should have the freedom to love who they want and marry who they want.

“I don't see why extending this freedom to same sex marriages will undermine conventional marriages.

“I hope it will simply provide some more people with a greater degree of security and companionship if they decide to get married.

“There is a specific exemption for the Church of England, so same sex marriages will typically be performed in civic places such as register officers rather than churches.

“All social change can initially feel unsettling for some people, but this proposal is supported by all three party leaders and I do believe that in time it will come to be seen as being fairly uncontroversial.”

Conservative Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, was out of the country, but says he would have voted against.

Mr Liddell-Grainger, who is on a Parliamentary delegation to Morocco, wrote on his blog: “I have pondered long and hard about this moral question and come to the conclusion that what is suggested in the bill is neither sensible nor workable.

“Some of my constituents have said - why not cancel the trip and vote on the bill instead? That course of action, I'm afraid, would have caused an international diplomatic furore and would have been seen as insulting to the Moroccan royal family.

“Trips like this take months to arrange. The timing of Parliamentary bills, however, is sprung on MPs at the last moment.

“However my absence at the vote certainly does not mean that I have changed my mind on the issue. If the bill proceeds past second reading there will be many opportunities to use my vote against it.”