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Equal marriage moves a step closer

A Government commitment to open up marriage to same-sex couples has taken an important step forward with the publication of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

The 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; and
  • protect those religious organisations that do not wish to marry same-sex couples from successful legal challenge.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller said:

“Marriage is a hugely important institution in this country - one which has changed throughout our history, and continues to change. The values of marriage bind families and communities together and bring stability. I believe that couples should not be excluded from marriage just because they love someone of the same sex. In opening up marriage to same-sex couples, we will further strengthen the importance of marriage in our society.”

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