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New British Rules a Step in the Right Direction

February 20, 2011

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The British Government moves closer to full same-sex marriage.  In their latest ruling, couples may now hold civil-unions inside of places of worship (with that religion’s consent).  It doesn’t go far enough to provide equal rights under the law compared to marriage, but they continue to move closer!

In Britain, gay couples may get a chance to go to the chapel and get married — almost.

The British government on Thursday announced plans to allow gay couples to hold civil partnership ceremonies in houses of worship — a move gay rights activists say is a step in the right direction towards marriage, but falls short of affording full equal rights.

The government stressed, however, that houses of worship can opt out if they wish.

Although marriage and civil partnership are already similar under British law, civil partnership ceremonies are currently not allowed to have religious references, are banned from places of worship, and must take place in a public building overseen by a government registrar.

The new rules, being introduced under British equality laws, will give same-sex couples the chance to hold civil partnership ceremonies in religious buildings — an option that did not exist for Mark Harrison and his partner, who wore traditional tailcoats to their ceremony at a north London town hall in May 2009.

via In Good Faith: Gay rights activists: New UK rules a positive step – In Good Faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam and World Religions – baltimoresun.com.