Constituents concerned about reports that peers will be tabling amendments to the Civil Partnerships Bill to compel churches to carry out same sex weddings have got in touch to ask if I would voice my opposition against these proposals.
An attempt to remove the exemption of the Church of England from same-sex marriage in churches was made in the House of Lords earlier this month.
Lord Faulkner, a Labour peer, attempted to remove the exemption for members of the clergy to solemnise the marriage of a same-sex couple
However, following an indication from the Government that it will not support the amendment, Lord Faulkner withdrew his amendment.
Baroness Williams, Minister for Equalities, said that it was “not for the Government to mandate this through regulations”.
The Government rightly recognises that a wider debate about the nature of marriage is going on right across society and indeed within the Church.
The bill is due to receive its report stage in the House of Lords in March and I am aware that Lord Faulkner has said that he will table his amendment again then.
While as an Member of Parliament who sit in the Commons I cannot influence the proceedings in the other chamber, I will be monitoring the bill’s progress closely and will not hold back on making my views known whenever it is necessary to do so.