The UK’s House of Lords has voted 95 for and 21 against to end the ban on holding civil partnership ceremonies in churches and other religious premises.

The vote will result in an amendment to the Equality Bill which will allow religious bodies the right to decide whether or not to allow same-sex partnerships to be officiated on their premises and to use religious language in the ceremonies.

Peter Tatchell of the LGBT rights group OutRage! described the vote as “another advance for gay equality and religious freedom”.

“By banning religious civil partnerships, the current law is denying religious bodies the right to treat gay couples equally. It is forcing them to discriminate, even when many of them do not want to,” he said.

It is believed that Quakers, Unitarians, the Metropolitan Community Church and some liberal synagogues may choose to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

While OutRage! welcomed the news, it said that it would still press to allow gay and lesbian couples to unite under the same marriage law as heterosexual couples, and not just under the civil partnership law. The group is planning to take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend