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

I can give the hon. Lady complete reassurance today that this Bill is not in any way trying to treat the Church of England or indeed the Church in Wales differently. The end result for the Churches will be exactly the same as for other religious institutions. The difference, of which I am sure she will be aware, is that the Church of England and the Church in Wales have different duties under common law to marry people in their parishes. The canon law of the established Church of England is part of the law of the land, so we need different measures in place to recognise those differences. I absolutely assure her that if either of those organisations chose to opt in to same-sex marriage, the provisions of the Bill would allow them to do so.