Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:24 pm on 5th February 2013.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 3:24 pm, 5th February 2013

My hon. Friend is absolutely right.

The 1662 version of the Church of England service, which has been in use for the past 350 years, sets out three reasons for marriage. The first is that it was

“ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord”.

The central problem with the Bill is that it introduces a definition of marriage that includes the second and third reasons but drops that first one. The result is something that is a good deal weaker than the original.