Homosexuality in Iran
In March 2008, Burns blogged about the case of Mehdi Kazemi, who sought asylum in the UK when the Iranian authorities learned of his homosexuality. Burns felt that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith should grant the request.
During the early stages of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Mr Burns appeared to have changing opinions about whether he would support it. He eventually voted in favour in the second reading of the bill in February 2013. It was subsequently reported that after the vote he felt "less welcome" in his local Catholic church because of his vote. He did not vote in the third and final reading of the bill.
Mr Burns voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.
In February 2015 Conor Burns voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.
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