Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill published
The Government has today published its same-sex marriage bill, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13.
The Bill will:
- enable same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies
- ensure those religious organisations that wish to do so can opt in to conduct marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples
- protect those religious organisations that do not wish to marry same-sex couples from successful legal challenge
The Bill will also enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage (section 9).
A couple of things I've noted:
- Firstly, the nomenclature issue has been dealt with by the terms "husband" including a man who is married to another man and "wife" including a woman who is married to another woman (see Schedule 3, paragraph 5(2)).
- Secondly, the 'adultery' issue has been dealt with by adding an extra sub-paragraph to section 1 of the MCA that reads: "Only conduct between the respondent and a person of the opposite sex may constitute adultery for the purposes of this section" (Schedule 4, paragraph 3).
There is a news story about the Bill on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website here, you can follow the progress of the Bill on the Parliament website here and you can read the draft Bill here.