The government has no plans to introduce civil partnerships for heterosexual couples according to Minister for Woman and Equalities Maria Miller .
Speaking to a parliamentary subcommittee on human rights, the 49 year-old MP for Basingstoke said:
“We don’t feel there is either a necessity or a requirement to open up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples because there is no deficit there – there is no lack of an ability to be able to formalise a relationship in a legal way. It is already there for heterosexual couples. It’s called marriage.”
Further changes to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would cause delay its introduction and could prove expensive, she added.
The bill is now approaching its third reading in parliament.
According to a report in The Guardian, Miller was asked her response to people who thought marriage oppressed women.
“I am not sure why marriage would oppress women any more than it would oppress men. Having been married for 23 years, I don’t feel oppressed myself, but I can understand that people will have different views.”
In December gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claimed that same sex marriage legislation would leave heterosexual couples with fewer rights.