Sir John Stanley, a member of the Conservative Party, has said he voted against a proposed gay marriage bill in the British House of Commons because being gay is a normal “phase” for young people.

The bill cleared the Commons on Tuesday after nearly six hours of debate.

(Related: British House of Commons gives initial nod to gay marriage bill.)

While Prime Minister David Cameron, the head of the Conservative Party, strongly backed the measure, less than half of Commons Conservatives agreed with him. An outcome which has some predicting losses for the party in 2015.

Among those who voted against the government's plan was Stanley, who, in explaining his vote to his constituents, said the law would be “in some cases positively damaging.”

“I consider that enshrining gay marriage into law will be unhelpful, and in some cases positively damaging, to young people going through the perfectly normal phase of being attracted to other young people of the same sex before arriving at a heterosexual orientation subsequently,” the 71-year-old Stanley wrote.