Same-sex couples could be allowed to marry in U.K. under Tory election plans
May 05, 2010
As posted by Martin Beckford on Telegraph.co.uk:
"The [Tory] party states that, if elected, it would 'consider the case' for civil partnerships between same-sex couples to be 'called and classified as marriage'.
"Neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats have made similar pledges in their election literature, making the Tories’ proposal the most progressive of the three main parties despite the criticism some leading candidates have received over their attitudes towards homosexuality.
"Since 2005, same-sex couples have been allowed to hold civil partnership ceremonies, in register offices or venues such as stately homes and hotels, which give them the same legal rights as spouses.
"Under the recent Equality Act they will be able to ask to host the events in places of worship, but they are still not allowed to call such unions 'marriage' nor use traditional religious vows.
"Mainstream churches, some peers and legal experts want to maintain the distinction between secular civil partnerships and matrimony, which they believe must be between a man and a woman.
"But now the Conservatives have become the first of the three main political parties in Britain to set out an explicit commitment to considering allowing homosexual couples to marry, should they take power after Thursday’s general election.
"Their new Contract for Equalities, published on Monday, states: 'We support civil partnerships and will recognise civil partnerships in the tax system. Our plans to end the couple penalty in the tax credits system and to introduce a new system of flexible parental leave will apply to all couples, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or same-sex couples.
“'We will also consider the case for for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage.'”
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