BBC News
January 25, 2013

Legislation to enable same-sex marriages to take place in England and Wales has been published. Culture Secretary Maria Miller told BBC Radio 4: "We feel that marriage is a good thing and we should be supporting more couples to marry." There would be adequate protection for religious freedoms, she said. The bill has divided Conservatives, with former Defence Secretary Liam Fox recently describing it as "ill thought through and constitutionally wrong". Conservative MPs will get a free vote on the legislation when it is debated in the Commons on Tuesday 5 February, meaning they will face no repercussions if they decide to defy government policy. More than 100 Tory MPs are thought to be against the idea, but the bill is likely to pass through the Commons with the support of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.