Lib Dems 'in gay marriage win'

Another step towards full same-sex marriage?
Another step towards full same-sex marriage?

By politics.co.uk staff

A rare policy victory for the coalition's junior party is expected to be unveiled this week, according to a report.

The Liberal Democrats' equalities minister Lynne Featherstone is expected to announce same-sex civil partnership services are to be permitted in religious venues.

Previously gay marriages were banned from containing any religious material.


That is now set to change, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Ms Featherstone will permit same-sex ceremonies to take place in religious buildings and allow them to incorporate religious elements like the singing of hymns.

Lib Dems will view the announcement with relief, as the news represents a significant moment for Nick Clegg's party.

He has struggled to secure high-profile policy coups over the Conservatives, leading many grassroots activists to question the coalition's usefulness.

But Tory ministers' accession on this issue, which the party has traditionally been firmly opposed to, will come as a welcome relief.

Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes had raised the prominence of same-sex marriage as an issue as early as last July, when he predicted civil partnerships would be reformed and handed the same legal status as full marriages by 2015.

"The state ought to give equality. We're halfway there," he said.

"I think we ought to be able to get there in this parliament."

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