Marriage

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on marriage. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
27.01.2014Immigration Bill: Committee Stage Report
The Immigration Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 10 October 2013 and had its Second Reading on 22 October. It is due to have Report stage and Third Reading on 30 January 2014. This Note discusses the main issues debated in Public Bill Committee.
17.09.2013Forced marriage
Following consultation, the Government has introduced clauses in the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill which will criminalise both forced marriage and breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order. This note gives background.
16.07.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill: Lords amendments
The purpose of this note is to draw attention to the principal amendments that were made in the Lords. It does not cover all minor or technical amendments. All the agreed amendments were Government amendments, many of which were moved in response to amendments proposed but not agreed at earlier stages, and commitments made by the Government to consider matters further. Peers debated many other amendments, on some of which they voted, but this note does not cover amendments that were not agreed.
14.05.2013Humanist marriage ceremonies
At present, humanist weddings do not have legal force and the parties must have an additional ceremony (for example, at a register office) for the marriage to be legally valid. The British Humanist Association is campaigning for the law to be changed to allow humanist celebrants to conduct legal marriages.
14.05.2013Marriage venues
At present, marriages must normally take place in a Register Office; a building that has been approved for the purposes of civil marriage by the local authority of the area in which the building is situated; a building of the Church of England or the Church in Wales; a building that has been registered for the purposes of religious marriage other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales; or a naval, military or air force chapel. There are various conditions surrounding the couple's choice of venue.

Research Papers

DateDescription
17.10.2013Immigration Bill
The Immigration Bill would significantly reduce migrants' rights of appeal; restrict access to services including private rented accommodation, bank accounts and NHS services by reference to immigration status; establish new arrangements for investigating sham marriages and examining persons departing the UK; and make various other changes related to immigration controls.
19.03.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. It complements Research Paper 13/08 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
01.02.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 24 January 2013 and is due to have its second reading debate on 5 February 2013. It 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.
20.07.2007Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill [HL] Committee Stage Report
28.06.2007The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill [HL] Bill 129 of 2006-07

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
03.11.2011FAITHFULNESS MATTERS CAMPAIGN
That this House supports the Faithfulness Matters campaign which affirms that faithfulness between people in committed relationships matters, for individuals, for families, for children ...
09.03.2011ROYAL WEDDING PUBLIC HOLIDAY
That this House welcomes the announcement of a public holiday for the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011; notes with concern that some employers are not giving their employees the day off; ...
13.01.2011PROPOSAL FOR FREE TRAVEL IN LONDON ON ROYAL WEDDING DAY
That this House notes that millions of people will need to move around London on the day of the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011; further notes that many visitors to London and tourists ...
17.11.2010ENGAGEMENT OF HRH PRINCE WILLIAM AND CATHERINE MIDDLETON
That this House congratulates HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton on their engagement; and wishes them a long and happy marriage.
13.09.2010RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE CEREMONIES IN THE UK
That this House notes the provisions of the Marriage Act 1949 and the Marriage Act (Scotland) 1977; further notes that these two Acts create a differential standard of recognition for ...

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
30.05.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill (HL Bill 29 of 2013-14)
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would extend civil marriage to include same-sex couples and allow those religious organisations who wished to do so to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 3 June 2013.
07.02.2011Debate on 10 February: The Role of Marriage and Marriage Support in British Society
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on the role of marriage and marriage support in British society eleven years after the report on 'Funding for Marriage Support' by Sir Graham Hart.

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses