Latest Public Sector News

20.05.13

Gay marriage ‘wrecking’ amendment could cost £4bn

Amendments to the Gay Marriage Bill could delay its introduction by 18-24 months and cost the taxpayer an extra £4bn, Downing Street has warned.

Tory opponents are widely seen to be seeking to wreck the Bill through an amendment to grant civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. The Bill will be debated in the House of Commons today, with up to 150 Conservatives planning to oppose it.

The Bill was approved by a 225 vote majority in February, when nearly half of all Conservatives voted against it. MPs get a free vote on the Bill, as a matter of conscience.

The amendment is being tabled by former children’s minister Tim Loughton. He told the Guardian: “This scaremongering just won't wash. The Government has come up with a lot of desperate last-minute excuses as to why giving full equality of civil partnerships will not work.

“This is what comes when you try to redefine marriage without having thought through the consequences. One of those consequences is that the majority of the population and MPs clearly want equality for civil partnerships. The Government Bill, as it stands, will deny them that equality. So they need urgently to do the work to make it happen.

“Far from being a wrecking measure, some of the strongest support for my amendment to extend civil partnerships comes from the biggest supporters of same-sex marriage in the Labour and Lib Dem parties.”

Thirty-four current and former local party chairmen delivered a letter to Downing Street opposing the gay marriage policy as “flawed, un-Conservative, divisive and costing us dearly in votes and membership”.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary and shadow equalities minister, told Sky News: “I think it's a real problem if this gets lost in the vortex of the Tory infighting that we had over the last couple of weeks when actually it's a really positive Bill that we should all want to celebrate.”

Under the Bill, the Church of England and the Church in Wales would be banned from offering same-sex marriages because of their strongly stated opposition, unless they changed canon law. Other religious organisations would be able to “opt in” to holding ceremonies.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >