Committee (1st Day)

Part of Cohabitation Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 30th April 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Butler-Sloss Baroness Butler-Sloss Crossbench 6:00 pm, 30th April 2009

I, too, have the greatest possible sympathy with the amendment and with the noble Baroness in her promotion of it, but I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Henley, that this is a matter that ought to be in a government Bill at some stage. As the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, said, I should like to think that the Government will look at the matter, because there is a manifest injustice to the people involved, but it is not appropriate that it should be in the Bill. The Bill is intended to deal with men and women and single-sex couples living in a relationship which has some analogy with marriage. It is a relationship, whether it is sexual or not, which is treated as a couple in a way that two sisters or father and daughter are not so treated or so understood in ordinary language. I hope that the noble Baroness would not feel it necessary to press the amendment for the reasons that the noble Lord, Lord Henley, has already given.