February 17, 2011

Government announces consultation on gay marriage


by Jan Harris

The government is to look at whether gay couples should be allowed to marry, a move that would mean reviewing the legal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, which has stood for centuries.

Gay couples have been allowed to legalise their relationship by becoming civil partners since 2005.

Although this gives the same legal rights to couples as marriage, for many gay couples it is not enough.

The consultation will also look at whether heterosexual couples should be allowed to become civil partners, if they do not wish to marry.

The government has confirmed that it is to allow civil partnership ceremonies to be held in religious venues, as early as this year.

However, Home Secretary, Theresa May, has assured religious groups that they will not be forced to host civil partnership ceremonies if is against their beliefs to do so.

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