Churches in Britain to open for gay marriages
HOMOSEXUAL couples in the UK will be able to take part in civil partnerships in churches and other places of worship from next month, it will be announced today.
Lynne Featherstone, the UK equalities minister, will say that the ban on the ceremonies in religious surroundings will be lifted on December 5.
The move has been championed by Prime Minister David Cameron, but is likely to be opposed by some church groups.
The scheme will be "voluntary" with no church compelled to offer same-sex services. However, it is likely some campaigners will seek to push the matter further if churches refuse to open their doors to gay couples.
It is estimated 1,500 civil partnerships a year would take place in religious settings once the ban is lifted.
There are now about 5,500 civil partnerships taking place every year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)