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Commons Amendment

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 17th November 2004.

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Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State (Criminal Justice System and Law Reform), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management) 5:30 pm, 17th November 2004

My Lords, one of the major differences is, of course, consummation. For a marriage to be valid, it has to be consummated by one man and one woman and there is a great deal of jurisprudence which tells one exactly what consummation amounts to—partial or impartial, penetration or no penetration. If the noble Lord wishes me to give a dissertation on family law, of course I would be more than happy to do so although it will take some time.

There is no provision for consummation in the Civil Partnership Bill. We do not look at the nature of the sexual relationship that enters into the civil partnership. It is totally different in nature. I thought that that was fully and properly understood.