Gay marriage: New equalities minister backs redefinition

Maria Miller, the newly appointed Minister for Women and Equalities, has voiced her support for controversial plans to rewrite the definition of marriage.

Mrs Miller was put in overall charge of the Government’s same-sex marriage plans by last week’s cabinet reshuffle.

Gay campaigners expressed concern, fearing that she wouldn’t be supportive enough of same-sex marriage.

Divisive

But Mrs Miller, who was also appointed as the Culture Secretary, revealed her support for the controversial change yesterday.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Mrs Miller said marriage needs to be redefined to make sure it “remains as a relevant and vibrant institution”.

She added: “Look, I think everybody should be married. It’s something which creates strength in our society and whether it is two men, two women or a man and a woman it is something which is a way for us to strengthen our society further.”

Oppose

The Government’s plans to redefine marriage have proved highly divisive.

Nearly 600,000 people, including a number of politicians, have signed a petition opposing any change to the current law. It is being run by the Coalition for Marriage.

Owen Paterson became the first Cabinet Minister to publicly oppose the plans in May. A number of other prominent Conservatives have expressed reservations.

Rewriting

The Westminster Government is committed to rewriting the definition of marriage by 2015.

In July David Cameron lashed out at churches for “locking out” gays by supporting marriage between one man and one woman.

He said he was proud to follow in the tradition of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who introduced civil partnerships in 2005.

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