Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:13 pm on 5th February 2013.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities) 1:13 pm, 5th February 2013

My hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda has since celebrated his own civil partnership as a result of that Bill. I am sure that he would have happily invited Philip Davies, had he had the chance to do so.

Let me deal with how civil partnerships are different. Civil partnerships have been a hugely important step forward and Labour Members are proud that our Government introduced them some years ago, but it is right that we now take the additional step of introducing equal marriage across the country. Of course people have strong views on marriage—on their own marriage and on other people’s—and I understand that some in this House are strongly opposed to the Bill. I respect their views although I disagree with them. I hope that is the spirit in which this debate will take place today.