UK to propose gay marriage in civil ceremonies
LONDON, United Kingdom - The British government said Tuesday, December 11, it was proposing to allow same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies, but would ban the established Churches of England and Wales from conducting ceremonies.
Culture minister Maria Miller told parliament the new law would allow other religious institutions to "opt-in" to carry out gay marriage ceremonies.
Miller said the Church of England and Church in Wales had made clear their opposition to offering same-sex ceremonies, so the government would "explicitly state" it will be illegal for those churches to offer gay marriage.
While Roman Catholics had joined the established churches in expressing opposition to same-sex marriage, other groups such as Quakers are in favour.
"I feel strongly that, if a couple wish to show their love and commitment to each other, the state should not stand in their way," Miller said.
"European law already puts religious freedom beyond doubt, and we will go even further by bringing in an additional 'quadruple legal lock'.
"But, it is also a key aspect of religious freedom that those bodies who want to opt-in should be able to do so." - Agence France-Presse