Friday, February 18, 2011

CPs can be carried out in religious premises

The Government introduced Section 202 of the Equality Act today, lifting the ban on civil partnerships being carried out in religious places. The Prime Minister announced his intention to implement this change in June last year. Home Office Minister Theresa Clark announced the change as a landmark in equality for LGB and T people, but asserted that there would be no obligation on religious authorities or clerics to carry out civil partnerships.

The Quakers, who have already announced a wish to carry out same sex marriages, welcomed the change. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said that moves towards allowing same sex marriage and heterosexual civil partnerships would be considered and that consultation with interested parties would be part of that process.

There has been much speculation in the press during the week over the exact content of the announcement, with The Sunday Times running a headline story announcing that same sex marriages were to be legalised, which led to an article by Melanie Philips in the Daily Mail suggesting they would allow people to marry their animals next.

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