UK’s top Liberal Democrat: We will allow gay couples to get married

Posted by Gerri Peev on

"Gay couples will be granted the right to marry, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes has suggested.

"Mr Hughes predicted the change would be in place in time for the next General Election.

"He said that a consultation will take place on taking civil partnerships to the 'next level'.

"The reforms would see civil partnerships for same-sex couples given the same legal and social standing as those between a man and a woman.

"However, they would not apply to ceremonies in church  -  only those in a register office or other licensed venue.

... "He said: 'It would be appropriate in Britain in 2010, 2011, for there to be the ability for civil marriage for straight people and gay people equally.'

"'That's different of course from faith ceremonies which are matters for the faith communities... they have to decide what recognition to give.'

"'The state ought to give equality. We're halfway there. I think we ought to be able to get there in this parliament.'

... "While gay couples can access almost the same legal rights through a civil partnership, this does not have the same symbolic status as a marriage.

"The Tories have pledged to consider allowing same-sex couples to marry in the same way as straight couples.

"Last week, the most senior openly gay Tory Minister, Nick Herbert, said that 'marriage equality is something that we should look at, in time.'

"But the Lib Dems' support goes further. Nick Clegg wrote last year that 'although civil partnerships have been a step forward, until the freedom to marry is permitted it is impossible to claim gay and straight couples are treated equally.'"

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