§ 8.47 p.m.
§ Baroness Seccombe
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank my noble friend the Minister and other noble Lords for the invaluable support that they have given to the Bill both this evening and on Second Reading.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.— (Baroness Seccombe.)
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)
My Lords, I am most grateful to my noble friend Lady Seccombe for the gracious way that she has brought forward the Bill. As your Lordships will be aware, this is a very popular measure which will extend the choice of places available for couples wishing to marry by civil ceremony. It will also remove the outdated requirement that couples have to marry in the district register office for the area in which they live.
In respect of approved premises, the Government will ensure that safeguards are introduced to prevent anything which could diminish the dignity of marriage. The regulations will clearly set out the criteria and procedures to be followed as part of the approval process. If it is the will of Parliament and this Bill becomes law, it should be possible for couples to marry at any register office of their choice from January of next year. While the provision of marriages at approved buildings will take a little longer, because of the need to make regulations, I am hopeful that they will also be put into force during the first half of next year.
The Government therefore warmly support the Bill and wish to see it given a Third Reading by your Lordships here tonight.
§ On Question, Bill read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Baroness Seccombe.)
§ On Question, Bill passed.