Maria Miller

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Maria Miller is the Conservative MP for Basingstoke. She entered Parliament in 2005.

She was Minister for Disabled People from 2010 to 2012. She was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Minister for Women and Equality from 2012 until 2014.

Contents

Abortion

In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Maria Miller voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

Ms Miller voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[2]

An interview in October 2012 where she was reported as saying she would again vote for a reduction to 20 weeks "to reflect the way medical science has moved on": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/9581895/Maria-Miller-I-would-vote-to-lower-abortion-limit-from-24-to-20-weeks.html

Libel Reform

Maria Miller has not signed EDM 423 in support of libel reform.

In a letter to a constituent who urged her to support EDM 423 in support of libel reform she replied:

“I do believe, however, that we must be careful when changing libel law itself. People have the right to challenge defamatory statements and any changes to this law should not risk this principle. I believe that the burden of proof should remain on individuals who make defamatory claims about other people to justify their assertions about others. I do not feel that EDM 423 reflects my view in full and therefore I am not in a position to support it.”

The wording of this statement is similar to those from Conservative MPs Mark Lancaster, Robert Wilson, Mark Harper and Edward Timpson.

LGBT Rights

On her appointment in September 2012 as Minister for Women and Equalities, some questioned Ms Miller's voting record on gay rights.[3]

Later that month Ms Miller contributed a video supporting the Out4Marriage campaign.[4]

In October 2012 in a speech at the Conservative Party conference, she said:

"Five years ago I stood here and told you that I believed in marriage, and nothing's changed, I still believe in marriage. It's part of the bedrock of our society. The state should not stop two people from making the commitment to be married unless there's a good reason. I don't believe being gay is one of them."[5]

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/c_06.htm
  3. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/09/05/questions-over-new-uk-equalities-minister-gay-voting-record/
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlkaCtVbYZs
  5. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9598881/Equalities-minister-loudly-cheered-over-support-for-gay-marriage.html

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