Britain’s marriage bill got its official start today.
The government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales has officially been introduced in the House of Commons by Culture Secretary Maria Miller. A full debate by MPs and a vote on the proposals will take place on 5 February, with the bill due to be published ahead of that tomorrow. Following a government consultation, Mrs Miller first outlined the plans to MPs in December. All religious organisations, including the Church of England and Church in Wales, will be legally barred from marrying same-sex couples unless they choose to opt in. The Equality Act 2010 is to be amended to ensure that no discrimination claim could be brought against religious organisations or an individual minister for refusing to marry gay couples (or allowing their premises to be used for this purpose.