Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill – Bishop of Chelmsford responds to amendments on marriage

On 1st February 2019 the House of Lords considered in Committee a Private Member’s Bill, the Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill. This Bill incorporated provisions on marriage registration that the Bishop of St Albans had successfully piloted through the Lords in his own Private Member’s Bill in 2018. It included extra provision relating to registration of stillborn children, and civil partnerships for opposite sex couples. 

The Bishop of Chelmsford spoke during debate on two amendments to the Bill. The first, briefly, on an amendment from the Bill’s sponsor Lady Hodgson, to enable the conversion of civil partnerships to marriage, and vice-versa, through the introduction of Regulations that could amend primary legislation, including Church of England Measures. The amendment was passed after debate.

The second on a probing amendment from Labour Peers, which was withdrawn after debate, to remove the provisions in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 that give legal security to the Church of England and Church in Wales in setting and maintaining their doctrinal position on marriage.  The Bishop’s speech on that, and the responses of other Members including the Government front bench, the Bill’s sponsor and the amendment’s sponsor are below: Continue reading “Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill – Bishop of Chelmsford responds to amendments on marriage”

Bishop of St Albans welcomes Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill

On 18th January 2019 the House of Lords considered the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank Tim Loughton MP and the noble Baroness, Lady Hodgson of Abinger, for bringing this Bill forward in the Chamber today. It is a complex Bill because it brings together a number of different issues and therefore the danger is that it could fall because a group of people does not like one particular bit of it. I know just how hard it has been working on just the focused registration of marriage part of it, let alone the other focuses. For that reason, I will resist the temptation to widen the debate beyond the scope of the Bill; for example, to explore the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Collins of Highbury. I do so because I want us to focus absolutely on what we are trying to deliver. That does not preclude us from having other debates on the points he has made but I do not believe that they are relevant today. Indeed, the danger is that it will confuse matters if we go beyond the scope of what we are trying to do.

As has already been spelled out, the proposals in Clause 1 reflect almost exactly my own Registration of Marriage Bill, which passed through this House with support from your Lordships. Perhaps I may say how grateful I am to the considerable number of people who were immensely helpful. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans welcomes Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill”

Bishop of Chester asks for clarification from Government over civil partnership and inheritance tax

On the 9th September 2015 Lord Lexden asked a question to the Government about why they have no plans to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to enable siblings to register as civil partners. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster asked a short supplementary question as a point of clarification.

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, can the Minister confirm what I think I heard her say—that the change in the inheritance arrangements for married people and civil partners, which will enable an exemption from inheritance tax, actually applies to siblings as well? That is not how I understood the changes to apply. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks for clarification from Government over civil partnership and inheritance tax”

Marriage and Cohabitation Rights – Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Bill

On 12th December 2014 the House of Lords debated the Cohabitation Rights Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames. The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Rev Steven Croft spoke in the debate, celebrating the commitment made by couples entering marriage or civil partnership and advising caution over conferring similar rights to cohabiting couples in the way the Bill proposes. His speech is reproduced in full below.14.03.27 Bishop of Sheffield Continue reading “Marriage and Cohabitation Rights – Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Bill”

Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

On 8th and 10th July 2013, a number of bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

8th July 2013

Lord Mackay of Clashfern moved amendment 1, which proposed to seek to refer to same sex marriage as ‘marriage (same sex couples)’, and opposite sex marriage as ‘marriage (opposite sex couples)’.

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, voted ‘content’. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 119 | Not Contents: 314 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill”