- 9 updates
Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary and shadow minister for women and equalities, has backed the upcoming Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
She said: "Couples who love each other and want to make a long-term commitment should be able to get married, whatever their gender or sexuality.
"Just as with civil partnerships in 2004, we look forward to passing this Bill into law with Labour votes.
"As freedom of religion is important, no church or religious organisation will be required to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies, but those who want to should be able to.
"Marriage as an institution has undergone repeated reform and modernisation over hundreds of years and needs to again now to reflect the equal value we place on long-term loving relationships for same-sex couples too."
Maria Miller, the culture secretary and minister for equalities, has defended the upcoming Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
She said: "We want to make sure that we live in a fair and equal society."
David Cameron has given Conservative MPs a free vote on the upcoming Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
MPs will vote when the Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons on February 5.
A bill to legalise gay marriage is being published by the government today. Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the bill would ensures "equal and fair" treatment of gay couples, while allowing religious institutions opposed to the move the option to opt-out. She told Radio 4's Today programme:
Gay couples could soon be allowed to marry in Churches for the first time, if the Government's proposals are approved by MPs.
ITV Daybreak spoke to Reverend Jody Stowell, she said: "It is devaluing to put everything into absolutely the same category".
She added that not everyone is the same, and this is something that needs to be explored further, over the subject of same-sex marriage.
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, has said that the submission made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the same-sex marriage bill consultation last year, stated the Church of England could not support the proposal to enable all couples to have a civil marriage ceremony.
According to Sir Tony, it added, that such a move would alter the nature of marriage, because the union of a man and a woman is enshrined in institutions throughout history.
Adding that, changing the nature of marriage would deliver no legal gains, given the rights already conferred by civil partnerships.
Church representatives have met Culture Secretary Maria Miller to discuss the proposals of the same-sex marriage bill.
Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner, said there are key issues that need to be discussed, involving the Church of England.
The date has been announced when MPs will be able to vote on the Government's controversial same-sex marriage bill.
Plans have been criticised by religious leaders, who fear it could lead to them being forced to conduct same-sex weddings.
MPs will be have their first chance to vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5th February, when the bill will have its second reading.