UK government formally launches same-sex marriage legislation in Parliament
Friday, January 25, 2013
The British government formally published legislation today to allow marriage for same-sex couples. The bill is titled the . MPs would be able to vote on the legislation at the second reading in on February 5.
Gay and lesbian couples have been allowed since 2005 to form ., the Culture Secretary, said of the legislation to : "We feel that marriage is a good thing and we should be supporting more couples to marry."
As part of the legislation, the government have included a set of provisions they describe as a "quadruple lock" against churches and other religious denominations being forced to perform same-sex weddings, including an explicit ban on the Church of England and the doing so. The "quadruple lock" consists of an explicit statement in the Bill "that no religious organisation, or individual minister, can be forced to marry same-sex couples or to permit that to happen on their premises", an amendment to the to prevent claims of discrimination against religious organisations for not performing same-sex weddings, an opt-in for religious groups who do wish to perform same-sex marriages, and the explicit ban for the Churches of England and Wales.
Maria Miller said the government recognises "that some churches won't want to participate in same-sex marriages. We are trying to make sure that there are the protections there for churches who feel that this isn't appropriate for their particular beliefs. We know that there are churches who do want to take part in same-sex marriages, so we have made sure that there are provisions there so they can."
Former defence secretary European Court of Human Rights will overrule the government's protections for churches. He argued earlier this month: "Any assurances that we are given that distinguishing between churches will not be used at some point by European courts to drive a coach and horses through the legislation carries little credibility with those of us who have watched similar assurances trounced in the past.", opposing the legislation, has suggested the
Thehas strongly opposed the measures. Archbishop has said he is "very disappointed" the government is pushing for same-sex marriage and claimed it would "weaken" the institution. The Archbishop also claimed of the legislation: "[t]here was no announcement in any party manifesto". However, the Conservative Party's "contract for equalities" for the 2010 election included a statement saying they would "consider" same-sex marriage: "We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage."
A Guardian/ICM poll conducted in December 2012 found 62% of the British public favour allowing same-sex marriage.
- "Support For Equal Marriage" — , January 25, 2013 (date of access)
- Ed Lowther. "Gay marriages: Government publishes legislation" — , January 25, 2013
- Gay marriage bill to be published" — , January 25, 2013 . "
- Nicholas Watt. "Liam Fox attacks PM's 'divisive' gay marriage proposals" — , January 10, 2013
- Tom Clark and Andrew Sparrow. "Three in five voters back gay marriage, new poll shows" — , December 26, 2012
- Patrick Wintour. "Gay marriage plans offer 'quadruple lock' for opposed religious groups" — , December 11, 2012
- Martin Beckford. "Archbishop ‘very disappointed’ with gay marriage move" — , November 18, 2011
- "General Election 2010: Conservatives may reclassify gay civil partnership as marriage" — , May 3, 2010