Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13 starts its parliamentary journey

Lynne Featherstone with Same Sex marriage bill - Some rights reserved by Mark PackLynne Featherstone (right) proudly brandishes a copy of the newly published Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13.

There is a parliamentary webpage dedicated to the bill here, where you can read the document and track its progress through Parliament.

The Government’s Equalities Office has published a range of supplementary materials here, including a short guide to the bill, a Factsheet and a Mythbuster.

Frank Cranmer on the website Law & Religion UK has written a helpful guide here.

Courtesy of the Government’s Factsheet, here is a reminder of what the bill proposes:

What the legislation will do

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will:

· enable same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies;
· ensure those religious organisations that wish to do so can opt in to conduct
marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples;
· protect those religious organisations that do not wish to marry same-sex couples
from successful legal challenge;
· enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish; and
· enable individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is part of the Liberal Democrat Voice team and blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • In the myth busters section I notice it talks about Conservative Party policy but makes no mention of Lib Dem Conference motion supporting marriage equality. Surely one of our people in Government might want to point out that this is Coalition Policy and reference the position of both parties when defending why the Government is doing this not the largest party.

    Also a thanks to Dave and his colleagues in LGBT+ Lib Dems for their hard work on this issue.

  • This really ought to have been passed by now… The discussion has become boring, lets just get equality in marage on the books and move on with the other important htings on the agenda.

  • * marriage

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