Next steps for civil partnerships

Newspapers reported over the weekend that the government is expected to confirm that it will implement Stonewall’s ‘Alli amendment’ to permit the celebration of civil partnerships in religious premises. The cross-party amendment to last year’s Equality Act was supported in the House of Lords by a majority of 74. Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We warmly welcome the long-awaited implementation of our amendment to permit those religious denominations who want to celebrate civil partnerships to do so. This is a very important step forward for many lesbian and gay people of faith and an important issue of religious freedom. It will, we believe, serve as a significant step forward towards extending the legal form of marriage to gay people.’

In response to reports that the government will also consult on the future of civil partnership, Ben said:  ‘Although the detail of Government proposals remains uncertain, we’re committed to extension of the legal form of marriage to gay people. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has said she will consult on proposals the government intends to implement in the lifetime of this parliament and we look forward to seeing a timetable for progress to be secured by 2015.’

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