Marriage is ‘gold standard’ claims Culture Secretary

Family|Family Law|Marriage|News|February 13th 2013

Culture Secretary Maria Miller has told MPs considering the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill that marriage is an aspirational “gold standard”.

Christ Bryant, the Shadow Minister for Borders and Immigration, had asked Miller, who is also the Minister for Women and Equalities, why the government is not planning to allow civil partnerships for heterosexual couples.

She replied: “This bill is all about extending marriage – that is what we believe is the gold standard – that is what people aspire to.”

The Rhondda MP replied: “That makes my civil partnership not feel like the gold standard. She may want to rethink the way she talks about it.”

The Labour MP, a former Church of England curate, has been in a civil partnership since 2010. The ceremony was first civil partnership ever to be staged in the Houses of Parliament.

Maria Miller stressed that she had not intended to cause any offence, saying the bill was about extending the right to marriage to same sex couples. The government wanted gay and lesbian couples to have the same rights as heterosexual ones, she stressed.

“There should be equality here. Everybody should have the opportunity to access what is an internationally recognised status.”

Photo by peetje2 via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Author: Stowe Family Law

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