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

I do not think it is right for individual views within individual faiths to all be protected characteristics under the Equality Act. I do not think that is the appropriate way to go.

We all love the idea of a wedding, we all support the idea of a strong marriage and, clearly, we all like a good party. I notice that the Department’s impact assessment suggests that passing the Bill could lead to an extra £14 million being spent on celebrations, which is a lot of confetti and rubber chicken. I do not think that it will be quite enough to boost the economy and deliver plan B, but I guess the Chancellor needs all the help he can get.

Call us hopeless romantics or call it the triumph of hope over experience, but most of us think that when people love each other and want to make that long-term commitment, that is a wonderful thing. Why would we prevent a loving couple from getting married just because they are gay?