Civil partnerships should be extended to opposite-sex couples - according to East Worthing and Shoreham’s MP.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 made same-sex marriage legal in England and Wales, but Tim Loughton is due to set out plans to correct a ‘glaring inequality’ through a 10 Minute Rule Motion today (Wednesday October 21).
The motion reads: “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to provide that opposite-sex couples may enter into a civil partnership; and for connected purposes.”
Mr Loughton will argue: “Just as the House decided it was time for equal marriage then, it is surely time for equal civil partnerships now.”
He said the Government’s own consultation, held before passing the act, showed that 61 per cent of respondents were in favour of extending civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples.
Firstly he will argue that the bill would correct an ‘unintended but glaring inequality’ where same-sex couples can still continue in a civil partnship, but opposite-sex couples will only have the option of marriage.
His second point will explain how the bill could support family stability, using the example of France, where the pacte civil de solidarité (PACS), introduced in 1999 as a form of civil union between two adults of the same or opposite sex.
Mr Loughton will use statistics from the Centre for Social Justice, which calculate the cost to the country of family breakdown at £48bn.
He will add: “The time has come to back equal civil partnerships, potentially to the benefit of many co-habiting families, their children and to the stability of our society as a whole.”
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