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Miller: Marriage to be extended to same-sex couples

Maria Miller told the Commons the legislation would "strengthen not weaken" the institution of marriage.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller has confirmed the Government will extend marriage to same-sex couples in a civil ceremony and allow those religious organisations which wish to conduct gay marriages to do so.

Outlining the plans in the Commons, she said a "quadruple lock" in law will also be offered to protect religious institutions and individuals from being forced to hold the same-sex ceremonies.

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Government to set out gay marriage plans

The Government will today set out its plans to legislate for gay marriage amid bitter opposition from some Tory MPs.

The historic move - which will allow same-sex couples to wed in church - has been hailed by gay rights campaigners but has angered Tory traditionalists who have warned that many activists will no longer be prepared to go out and campaign for the party if it goes through.

Tory MP: I trained with a gay boxer 'so I'm not bigoted'

Conservative MP David Davies has attempted to play down accusations that he is prejudiced against homosexual people by posting a video of himself boxing against an openly gay boxer in 2008.

He said that he started training with Charles 'Pink Pounder' Jones subsequently because he respected and liked him.

Davies came under criticism yesterday for saying that "most parents" would prefer their children to not be gay.

He posted the following video on Twitter along with the comment: "Once fought [a] gay boxer. Respect and like. Trained with [him] after bout so not bigoted. Activists calm down - listen to other view".

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Labour MPs react to Maria Miller's gay marriage statement

Maria Miller: We will not damage religious freedom

Maria Miller answers questions over gay marriage. Credit: ITV News

Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller has said the government would never introduce a bill that would damage religious freedom as MPs debate gay marriage.

She said: “We firmly support marriage, its one of the most important institutions that we have in our country.

"The government should not stop people getting married unless there’s a very good reason and being gay I don’t believe is one of them.”

The government will outline plans for same-sex marriage tomorrow.

Sir John Major backs PM's stance on gay marriage

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major. Credit: PA Wire

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major said: "The Prime Minister's instinct to support equal marriage is a courageous and genuine attempt to offer security and comfort to people who - at present - may be together, yet feel apart.

"I fully understand that there are many who will find this difficult to accept, as will the Churches.

"But the Prime Minister has made it clear that the Churches will be free to make their own decisions upon whether to conduct such marriages - and that is entirely the right approach.

"We live in the 21st century and must move on: every couple should have the opportunity and the right to formalise their relationship."

Boris urges Tory MPs to support gay marriage plans

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has urged Conservative MPs to end the "protracted" discussion on gay marriage and support the government in making it law.

He told Sky News' Murnaghan show: "The Labour party would vote for it, the Liberals would vote for it, huge numbers of Tories would vote for it, whack it through, let's knock this thing on the head."

He added: "It's a symbolic discussion but I think it's been protracted now beyond it's usefulness, let's do it."

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