Schedule 28 — Consequential amendments: Scotland

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Partnerships Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:53 pm on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Conservative, South Staffordshire 6:53 pm, 9th November 2004

If the hon. Gentleman consults Hansard, he will find that he said that he would not mind at all if people regarded this as gay marriage.

I do not want to get bogged down in semantic arguments with the hon. Gentleman or anyone else. I only want to say in the brief time that remains that the House will tonight pass a Bill—we know that it will be given its Third Reading with an enormous majority—that marks a real change in our society. In making that change, the House must realise that a society that changes without recognising whence it comes is rather intolerant. It is important to realise the background of many of our constituents who will be troubled by the Bill. I wish those who will benefit from it nothing but personal happiness—I hope that that will be their lot—but many people in my constituency and elsewhere are troubled because they can equate the partnerships granted by the Bill with marriage, and because of the fact that it is only from the union of a man and woman, whether they are married or not, that a future generation can come.

Such matters trouble ordinary people throughout the land, so I was glad that my hon. Friend Mr. Duncan recognised that in his thoughtful and dignified speech. I ask those who will cheer when the result of the Division is announced to have some regard for those who need to be convinced that they are wrong and that the majority in the House is worthy of a majority in the country. I remain profoundly disturbed about the consequences of what we are about to enact.