Orders of the Day — Civil Partnership Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 12th October 2004.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:18 pm, 12th October 2004

I believe that people should be free to choose whether they want to get married or to enter into any other sort of relationship. I am not in the business of encouraging people to do this or that. If I were to encourage people to take a particular direction, that would probably be counter-productive.

Why are the Government putting one particular type of relationship outside marriage on a pedestal, in preference to all others? The unavoidable conclusion that I have reached is that the Bill is a homosexual marriage Bill in all but name. As a result, it will be a double whammy. It will further undermine the institution of marriage—the holiest state of matrimony. At the same time, it will be an affront to Christians and other faith communities. It will also be an insult to all those who happily share their lives with relatives or friends outside marriage, because their relationships will be given institutional inferiority to homosexual ones.