Statement on Equal Marriage

Valerie has issued this statement on Equal marriage:

“I have been contacted by a large number of constituents regarding the Government’s plans to extend marriage to same sex couples. I have received representations both for and against the plans, which I have considered carefully.

“The Government’s proposals was put to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February 2013 when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received its second reading. I voted for the Bill.
“My view is that marriage gives both public recognition and a basis of permanence and stability to committed and nurturing relationships. Society as a whole and the institution of marriage will benefit from extending marriage to everyone who wants to get married. I am committed to promoting equality.

“Marriage is not merely a rigid and unchanging label. The success of marriage over thousands of years results from its capacity to adapt to evolving cultural norms and attitudes.

“The Bill has been drafted to ensure that Faith groups will not be coerced into conducting marriages or challenged legally for declining to marry couples. This is supported by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Court of Human Rights that protects religious freedoms and civil liberties.”