Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 5th February 2013.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 12:44 pm, 5th February 2013

If hon. Members will allow me to make a little more progress, I shall take more interventions later.

As we have heard, marriage should be defended and promoted in every way. To those who argue that civil partnerships exist and contain very similar rights, that marriage is “just a word” and that this Bill is unnecessary, I say that that is not right. A legal partnership is not perceived in the same way and does not have the same promises of responsibility and commitment as marriage. All couples who enter a lifelong commitment together should be able to call it marriage.