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Third Reading

Part of Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 15th July 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat 4:00 pm, 15th July 2013

My Lords, the passage of the Bill has been a remarkable thing. Having sat through every bit of it, I have to say that the discussions in your Lordships’ House have been not just of the highest calibre but deeply thoughtful about the nature of the society that we wish to pass on to future generations; none more so than the contributions from the Bishops’ Benches. The Bill represents a real sea change for gay people and for our society—a good one that heralds the start of new relationship between minority groups and faith groups. All those groups have an important part to play in building strong communities for the future and that is why we on these Benches have supported this Bill at every stage.

We have been helped enormously by the Front Bench team in dealing with some quite difficult, tricky and intricate issues. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, that, no, there is no room for triumphalism. However, he will perhaps allow some of us today to celebrate what for us is a really important step towards equality and equal treatment. There is no room for intolerance but this House should be very proud.