New Clause 5 - Conscientious objection

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 12 March 2013.

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‘(1) No person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by statutory or other legal requirement, to conduct a marriage to which he has a conscientious objection.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a “conscientious objection” exists where the refusal to conduct a marriage is only that it concerns a same sex couple, and is based on the person’s sincerely held religious or other beliefs.

(3) This section is without prejudice to the duty of a registration authority to ensure that there is a sufficient number of registrars and superintendent registrars for its area to carry out in that area the functions of registrars and superintendents.

(4) In any legal proceedings the burden of proof of conscientious objection shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it.’.—(Mr Burrowes.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Committee divided: Ayes 3, Noes 14.

Division number 11 Decision Time — New Clause 5 - Conscientious objection

Aye: 3 MPs

No: 14 MPs

Aye: A-Z by last name

No: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.