Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill - Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:15 pm on 1st February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development) 12:15 pm, 1st February 2019

I totally understand that point and I stand corrected on the technicality of what the noble Lord said on that matter—but, as I said, I will write to him on the European question.

The noble Lord, Lord Collins, asked me about conversion and religious protections—about the date et cetera. We are looking closely at a range of policy considerations, including matters relating to conversion and religious protections. We will take decisions on the nature and extent of conversion rights following the consultation to which the amendment commits us.

I will reassure noble Lords that the Government wish to extend civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples as soon as possible and are fully committed to bringing the necessary regulations into force before the end of 2019. It is a challenging timeframe, but, given the need for consultation and further parliamentary debates, it would be impossible to commit to an earlier date.