MP DAVID Evennett has been branded "disgraceful" after announcing he will vote against plans to legalise same sex marriage.
The Bexleyheath and Crayford MP confirmed he would not be backing David Cameron’s plans to allow gay marriage when the controversial vote reaches parliament next year.
More than 110 of the 303 Conservative MPs are thought to be planning to oppose the bill in what could be the biggest Tory rebellion of modern times.
Bexley Councillor Stefano Borella, who is openly gay, was among those who has slammed Mr Evennett’s decision.
The North End ward councillor told News Shopper: "I think it’s disgraceful - I don’t see why any MP should be voting against it.
"It’s going to give the wrong message as there are a large number of people in the community who want to see their elected politicians taking a lead on this.
"I’m disappointed he will vote against it but it’s a free vote so he is entitled to his view.
"I just feel we should be supporting it and that this is another step forward."
In a statement to News Shopper, Mr Evennett, who is a government whip, said: "I, personally, am a strong supporter of traditional marriage and will not be voting in favour of any changes."
It has been reported the Prime Minister is now planning to fast-track the bill through Parliament and the free-vote could come as early as January.
A free-vote prevents ministers from facing disciplinary action if they vote against David Cameron’s position.
Several Bexley church-goers travel to the gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church in Camden, where Charlton resident Reverend Sharon Ferguson works.
The 54-year-old said: "I hope and pray David Evennett will reconsider how he is going to vote.
"If not, I think people - and not just the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community - will have to think again.
"If their MP is going to vote against an equality vote like this, what other equality issues is he likely to vote against?"
The Metro Centre is a voluntary organisation that meets weekly in Bexley for youngsters to discuss issues relating to their sexuality.
Communications director Patricia Durr said: "As a service provider to the young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Bexley we’re saddened this is the message going out about equality.
"We know from the work we do that same sex marriage matters to the young people of Bexley."