So, should religious places be opened to the possibility of hosting civil partnerships*?
When the Equality Bill was passed by the House of Lords last March, a spokesman for the government equalities office said the move paved the way to allow religious groups \”to let civil partnership ceremonies take place in their churches, mosques, synagogues and so on if they choose to do so\”.
The spokesman added: \”It will not force any religious group to do anything that is not compatible with their faith.\”
However, the new move could open up a legal minefield with same-sex couples possibly taking anti-discrimination action against religious groups if they were barred from getting married in the place of worship of their choice.
Just how does that interplay of the various pieces of legislation work?
Will \”could\” or can host such civil partnerships become must?
Anyone know? And no, I do not trust a \”spokesman\” stating something: I don\’t even trust the legislators to have got the legislation right even if that was their express intention.
* For non-Brits, civil partnerships are in effect civil versions, ie non-religious versions, of marriage. A civil partnership is not open to an opposite sex couple while marriage is not open to a same sex one. Other than that, not a great deal of difference: except a civil partnership currently cannot take place in a religious building nor have any religious content.