Marriage Bill Committee announce evidence programme

14 February 2013

The House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is considering the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will continue to hear oral evidence on Thursday 14 February 2013.

Programme and witnesses

Tuesday 14 February 2013 - Morning schedule, commences at 11.30am

Until no later than 12.15pm

  • Michael Bartlet, Parliamentary Liaison Secretary, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain
  • Derek McAuley, Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches

Until no later than 1pm

  • Rev Gareth Powell, Assistant Secretary to the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church
  • Dr Augur Pearce, Elder and Secretary to the Law and Policy Advisory Group, United Reformed Church

Tuesday 14 February 2013 - Afernoon schedule, commences at 2pm

Until no later than 2.45pm

  • John Wadham, General Counsel, Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Robin Allen QC, Cloisters, Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Rachel Robinson, Policy Officer, Liberty
  • Liz Bramley, Head of Engagement and Diversity, The Co-operative Group

Until no later than 3.15pm

  • Craig Parr, Teacher, Schools OUT
  • Joe Hayman, Chief Executive, PHSE Association

Until no later than 3.45pm

  • The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans
  • Alice Arnold, Broadcaster

Until no later than 4.15pm

  • Brendan O’Neill, Journalist
  • Mark Jones, Partner, Omerods Solicitors

These sessions are open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms.

It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. Timings and room numbers are subject to change.

Previous evidence sessions

The Committee began taking evidence on the Bill on Tuesday 12 February 2013.

Tuesday 12 February 2013 - Morning schedule


  • Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities
  • Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education
  • Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, Church of England
  • William Fittall, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod, Church of England
  • The Rev Alexander McGregor, Deputy Legal Adviser to the Archbishop’s Council and the General Synod, Church of England
  • Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice-President, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales
  • Professor Christopher McCrudden, Counsel, Blackstone Chambers, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales
  • Charles Wookey, Assistant General Secretary, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales
  • The Rt Rev John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, The Church in Wales
  • John Shirley, Provincial Secretary, The Church in Wales
  • Charles Anderson, Solicitor, The Church in Wales
  • Lord Pannick QC
  • Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC

Tuesday 12 February 2013 - Afternoon schedule


  • Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive, Stonewall
  • Sian Payne, Director of Organisational Development, Lesbian and Gay Foundation
  • Paula Dooley, Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES)
  • Terry Reed OBE, Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES)
  • Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism
  • Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive, Board of Deputies of British Jews
  • Sarah Anticoni, Family Law Group, Board of Deputies of British Jews
  • Benjamin Cohen, Founder, Out For Marriage
  • James-J Walsh, Director of Campaigns, Out For Marriage
  • Colin Hart, Chairman and Campaign Director, Coalition for Marriage
  • Dr Sharon James, Spokesperson, Coalition for Marriage
  • Professor Julian Rivers, Law School, University of Bristol

Summary 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.

Further Information

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

Image: iStock

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