James Brokenshire has said that he will be supporting measures to introduce same sex marriage when the legislation is considered in Parliament this week. Whilst recognising the legitimate views of those who oppose the change, James believes that the proposals will strengthen rather than weaken the institution of marriage.
Commenting on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday, James said:
“I believe that marriage is a hugely powerful institution underlining love, commitment and faithfulness. I also believe that a fundamental distinction should be drawn between civil marriage set out in law and statute and religious marriage forming part of a tenet of faith and religious observance. Provided this separation is properly observed, I struggle to see why the state should seek to exclude adults who are prepared to make vows of life-long fidelity and commitment simply because their partner is of the same sex.
“If we believe marriage is a good thing – which I certainly do – then I believe that it will be strengthened, not weakened, by making it inclusive.
“I support the proposals for same sex civil marriage. I believe that it would promote a more tolerant, fairer and more inclusive society more at ease with itself and more genuinely focussed on equality of opportunity – something which I believe to be inherently Conservative.
“That said, I fully respect the legitimate and sincerely held belief that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. There are differences of view – indeed there are differences of view within individual Christian denominations. Faith is personal and the product of an individual religious journey and we should respect that there will be genuinely held differences of opinion.”