Straw says 'no' to gay marriage

Home Secretary Jack Straw has ruled out a move to recognise homosexual relationships by creating a gay marriage ceremony.

Home Secretary Jack Straw has ruled out a move to recognise homosexual relationships by creating a gay marriage ceremony.

He resisted demands for a "pink bill of rights" with a marriage ceremony at its centre.

"I don't think there's any need," he told GMTV's Sunday Programme.

"I'm a very strong supporter of gay rights and treating people the same regardless of their sexual preference - but marriage has a different purpose.

"Marriage is about a union for the procreation of children, which by definition can only happen between a heterosexual couple. So I see no circumstances in which we would ever bring forward proposals for so-called gay marriages."

He added: "There is a profound difference at one level which is a biological difference between a gay relationship and a heterosexual one."

Mr Straw was also asked about reports that new human rights legislation could lead to an early release for Moors Murderer Myra Hindley.

He said the highest court in the land - the House of Lords Judiciary Committee - had found he'd acted properly by refusing to free Hindley.

"My anticipation is that there will be people who will try to suggest that this power that is exercised by Home Secretaries ought instead to be exercised by the courts," he added.

"I, as Home Secretary, would strongly resist - and all the advice that I've had so far is that the law here and in Strasbourg is on our side."

He added: "A whole life tariff has been established in respect to Myra Hindley. There are various conditions on the need for that sentence which is the most severe one that we have in our criminal code, to be reviewed from time to time, and that will remain the case."

On the new Human Rights Act, Mr Straw said it doesn't mean "that there is going to be a clap of thunder and everything's going to be different."

He said: "The courts may say that a particular Act is incompatible with the Convention, but that does not mean that the courts overrule Parliament."

He said if the courts found laws incompatible with the new Human Rights Act the Government may want to change the law but they could also disagree with the court meaning the issue will have to go to Strasbourg for a final ruling.

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