United Kingdom Unveils Marriage Equality Proposal
December 11, 2012 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Senior Digital Strategist
England and Wales will consider marriage equality legislation next year, following plans unveiled today by Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller.
The historic legislation, which will be brought forward in 2013, will allow same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies, while protecting religious liberties by allowing organizations to “opt in” to conduct marriage ceremonies if they choose.
“We will continue to work with faith and other interested groups over the coming months on how best to implement our plans,” said Miller of the plans. “I now look forward to a free, open and rigorous debate on the legislation.”
The plans follow a 13-week equal civil marriage consultation launched in March, with 53 percent of respondents voting in favor of a proposal allowing marriage equality.
Though the issue has split the Conservative Party, which currently leads Parliament, many senior Conservatives have come out in support of marriage equality.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has fiercely advocated on behalf of marriage equality, reassuring religious communities and dissenting members of Parliament of the ability for marriage equality and religious freedoms to coexist.
Parliament could vote on the issue as early as this spring.