Stonewall today warmly welcomed the Government’s announcement that it would commence implementation of the ‘Alli Amendment’ which Stonewall campaigned hard to secure on 5 December.
The Alli amendment will permit, on an entirely permissive basis, the celebration of civil partnerships in religious buildings for the first time. The cross-party amendment to the Equality Act was supported in the House of Lords in March 2010 by a majority of 74.
Stonewall’s Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill, said: ‘Since the first civil partnerships took place in 2005, religious groups and lesbian and gay people of faith have expressed the importance of being able to celebrate their commitment to one another in their place of worship. It is a clear signal of how far we’ve come that, for the first time, the many lesbian and gay couples of faith in Britain today will be able to do so.
‘These changes follow extensive Stonewall lobbying and represent not only hard-won cross party support but the wishes of a number of religious denominations. It is an important issue of religious freedom in the 21st century that both individuals and consenting religious groups are able to celebrate civil partnerships in their places of worships.’
1) Stonewall’s response to the Government consultation on allowing civil partnerships in religious premises can be found here.
2)The Lord Alli amendment to the Equality Bill, to permit civil partnerships in religious premises, was passed in March 2010 by a majority of 74 votes. Crossbencher Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, Conservative Baroness Noakes and Liberal Democrat Baroness Neuberger supported Lord Alli’s amendment.
3) The law currently bans civil partnership ceremonies on religious premises. The legal form of marriage is currently only available to opposite-sex couples.
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