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03:58 | 24th October 2017

News: UK

Wed 4 Aug, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


Canada and Argentina have shown the way forward.That’s why I support calls to change the definition of marriage to include exclusive relationships between couples, regardless of sex

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David Miliband expresses his support for gay marriage

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David Miliband has come out to say that he longs to redefine “the definition of marriage” and brands the move to same sex marriage as says that he sees it as the “next step in our mission for equality”.

The Labour leadership hopeful has expressed his views on gay marriage and support for making the right to marry equal in a statement made on his own site.

Mr Miliband, currently MP for South Shields, published a statement on www.davidmiliband.net which read:

During recent hustings and conversations with people around the country and on Twitter and Facebook, the issue of gay marriage has been raised on several occasions. Labour has a proud record on equality and gay rights.

We equalised the age of consent, scrapped the homophobic Section 28 and created civil partnerships. Because of our legislation some 33,956 civil partnerships have been registered across the country – over 500 in British Embassies abroad.

But it is an anomaly that gay couples – although they can call each other husband or wife – can’t say they are married. Canada and Argentina have shown the way forward.That’s why I support calls to change the definition of marriage to include exclusive relationships between couples, regardless of sex. This will mean gay couples will be able to describe themselves as married.

This does not force change in religious practice. I support the Labour amendment to the Equalities Act which made provision for religious communities to officiate civil partnerships but only if they felt appropriate. Under a new definition of marriage, the situation should to be the same. We should not force churches, mosques and synagogues to officiate over gay marriages but equally we shouldn’t stop those who want to.

Gay marriage is the logical next step in our mission for equality, but is just one part of our approach. Homophobia remains too common, including in schools. I want to tackle prejudices in law and in practice so we are always standing up for equal rights.

 

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