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CofE exempt from gay marriage

New legislation will explicitly state that it will be illegal for the established Churches of England and Wales to conduct same-sex marriages, Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced.

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Miliband: 'Shadow cabinet united in favour of gay marriage'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the Church of England legal bar in today's Government statement on equal marriage.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Press Assocation

Miliband also pointedly noted that his shadow cabinet were united in favour of gay marriage as well as the "vast majority" of Labour MPs.

"I am pleased that the Government will finally bring forward legislation to allow equal marriage and that we have succeeded in making sure that religious organisations that want to carry out same sex marriages will be able to do so," he said.

"However, it is disappointing that the Government is making same sex marriage illegal in the Church of England.

"The Labour Party has a long and proud history of campaigning to end discrimination against same sex couples and it is Labour votes which will ensure that this measure is passed in the House of Commons."

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