A moment ago, my hon. Friend asked why we need to have civil partnerships when marriage exists and people are perfectly at liberty to choose marriage as an option. The answer is this: marriage has existed for thousands of years and has a profoundly religious connotation for most people, as a social practice dating back millennia. Some people, exercising their own choice, are not happy to enter into an institution that has that religious connotation and therefore want an alternative arrangement. That is why we need civil partnerships as an alternative.