Civil Partnerships: what do you think?
Plans to lift the ban on couples registering civil partnerships in religious settings in England and Wales were announced in February.
The government has now invited views on how plans to lift a ban on civil partnerships taking place in religious settings will work in practice.
The consultation, launched at the end of March, looks at how this will work in practice. You can give your response by visiting the Government Equalities Office website: www.equalities.gov.uk/equality_act_2010/civil_partnership_consultation.aspx
The LGBT equality minister, Lynne Featherstone MP, said: ‘The government is committed to both advancing equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people and ensuring freedom of religion for people of all faiths.’
She added: ‘No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward.’
The consultation document sets out proposals for a two-stage process. It would see faith groups first agreeing whether to allow civil partnership registrations on their premises. Following this agreement, individual religious premises could then apply to their local authority to host these registrations.
This would work in a similar way to the existing process for non-religious venues such as hotels which have to obtain approval to host civil marriages and partnership registrations.
The consultation will run until 23 June, and is being seen in some quarters as a first step toward taking the gender restrictions out of marriage and civil partnership legislation.