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

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

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 1:15 pm, 1st February 2019

I would like very briefly to say how much I support the amendment in the names of the noble Lord, Lord Hayward, and my two noble friends. I led from the Labour Front Benches on the equal marriage Bill, and one of the proudest legislative moments of my life was when we put it on the statute book. It is not often that we legislate to create happiness but that is definitely what we did on those days five years ago. It is grieving that my relatives in Ireland and Northern Ireland do not have the same access and right to marry that we have here in England. This is a human rights issue. I absolutely recognise the frustration that the noble Lord, Lord Hayward, expresses about getting this through. The Government know that political will can be brought to bear on many issues: with political will and the support of the different parties we can do pretty much what we desire to do. This is one of those issues where we need to make progress.