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Government sets out plan for equal marriage

Same-sex couples in England and Wales are set to be allowed to marry, under plans unveiled by Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller.

Following a Government consultation, legislation allowing same-sex marriage will be brought forward next year. The proposals are designed to create watertight protections for religious organisations that do not want to conduct same-sex marriages, but will allow them to ‘opt in’ if they so choose.

The historic move will mean that for the first time:

  • same-sex couples will be able to get married in civil ceremonies;
  • religious organisations who chose to ‘opt in’ will be able to conduct marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples; and
  • a ‘quadruple lock’ of measures in domestic legislation would protect religious freedom, putting beyond doubt the possibility of successful challenge through domestic or European courts.


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