Have your say on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

06 February 2013

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government’s proposed legislation on civil marriage for same sex couples?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 24 January 2013.

The second reading of the Bill took place on 5 February, giving MPs the opportunity to debate the main principles of the Bill.

The Bill has now been sent to the Public Bill Committee, where detailed examination of the Bill will take place.

Aims of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

This Bill would introduce civil marriage for same sex couples, and enable religious organisations to opt in to conduct same sex marriages if they wish to do so.

The Bill includes provisions intended to protect religious organisations and individuals from being forced to conduct same sex marriages. The proposals have proved highly controversial with interested parties expressing strong opinions both for and against same sex marriage.

The Bill would also enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage and would enable married transsexual people to gain legal recognition in their acquired gender without having to end their marriage.

Deadline for submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 12 February. The Committee will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 12 March 2013.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware.

It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere.

If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the Scrutiny Unit (details below).

How should written evidence be submitted?

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk. Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering.

Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures.

As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

Please include in the covering email the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.

What will happen to my evidence?

The written evidence will be circulated to all Committee Members to inform their consideration of the Bill.

Most submissions will also be published on the internet as soon as possible after the Committee has started sitting.

The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about written evidence.

Scrutiny Unit contact details

Email: scrutiny@parliament.uk
Telephone: 020 7219 8387
Fax: 020 7219 8381,
Address: Michelle Edney
Senior Executive Officer
Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank,
London SW1P 3JA.

Further information

Image: iStock

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Crime, civil law, justice and rights, Equality, Communities and families, Commons news, Bill news

Share this page