MAKERFIELD MP Yvonne Fovargue has confirmed that she will be supporting the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading.

She explained: “Couples who want to make a loving long term commitment should be able to get married, whatever their gender or sexuality.

“I supported the introduction of civil partnerships by the then Labour Government in 2004 in the face of considerable opposition. I was delighted to attend a civil partnership of a friend and his partner soon after this and their love for each other was as valid as anybody else’s. Now they have widespread support and this is the right time to allow same sex couples equal recognition by the state through marriage.

“This Bill provides strong protection for freedom of religion, including safeguards so that no church, faith group or individual minister can be required to conduct a same sex marriage. But it is also right that religious organisations that wish to conduct same sex marriages are allowed to do so."