Civil Partnerships and Marriage
A number of people have contacted me about the on-going Government consultation on "civil marriage". Indeed, I have had people come to various of my surgeries to lobby me on this matter. For those who have written to me, I have replied with the answer below:
I wish to say from the outset that I understand that same-sex marriage is a contentious issue and have considered the points you raise carefully.
Firstly, I think it is important to point out that there is absolutely no question of churches, or of any other religious institution, being forced to host ceremonies for same-sex marriage, or indeed civil partnerships. In fact, the Government’s consultation only considers same-sex civil marriage and not religious marriage.
The consultation has now been published and given that you feel so strongly about this, you should submit your opinion. (Please find enclosed a copy of a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, the Home Secretary and Minister for Women & Equalities, setting out the detail of the consultation process.)
As for my personal views on this; well, I have to say I think that communities and wider society are improved when two people who commit to each other in a loving relationship, have that relationship recognised in a civil partnership.
Finally, I do not see calling this relationship a same-sex civil marriage, problematic or concerning.