Drawing a line under accusations the government is backtracking on plans to allow gay couples to marry, new equality chief Maria Miller has recorded a gay marriage video.
After appointing the new minister in the recent government reshuffle, who has voted against, or been absent for nearly every LGBT rights bill, it was interpreted the UK government was shifting its view on marriage equality.
But in her Out4Marriage video released yesterday (20 September), Miller said: ‘Equal civil marriage is something that people feel very strongly about and that's why we've undertaken a consultation recently and had record numbers of submissions and we're looking at those submissions very carefully indeed.
‘But there's one thing that I, and the Government, know is the importance of marriage and the value that it brings to our society - whether that's a marriage between a man and a woman, two men, or two women.
‘Marriage should be for everyone and the measures that we've brought forward, to make sure that marriage is open to all couples, will help make sure that marriage is strengthened in our society and more relevant than ever.’
The video follows her announcing her support for the bill, suggesting same-sex marriage could ‘save the institution’.
Out4Marriage spokesman Joseph Musgrave said: ‘We are delighted (Ms Miller) has added her voice to the campaign for equal marriage.
‘That she decided to record the video so soon after her appointment is, we hope, an indication that this Government is prepared to be bold, decisive and take on the opponents to these proposals.’
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights group Stonewall, said: ‘We are delighted that Maria has been persuaded that no one should have a monopoly on the use of the word marriage.
Watch Miller’s video here: