They already had civil partnerships, but our mates across the pond are ready to leave the U.S. in the cultural dust again.
The British government is expected to announce full marriage equality for gays and lesbians under reforms to marriage laws expected to be announced later this week by the Liberal Democrat equality minister, Lynne Featherstone.
The announcement will also include the time table for civil partnerships to be held in religious buildings. The reported move will end the final major legal discrimination against gays and lesbians in Britain.
The Quakers and Liberal Judaism have already stated that they wish to conduct same sex marriages.
Although the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, gave the reports a guarded welcome telling the BBC that he “believes in a liberal democracy, and actually wants equality with everybody,” the Church of England does not support the introduction of gay marriages or civil partnerships being held in churches. A spokesman said: “Given the Church’s view on the nature of marriage, the House of Bishops has consistently been clear that the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for those who register civil partnerships.”
The spokesman said the change will “lead to inconsistencies with civil marriage, have unexplored impacts, and lead to confusion, with a number of difficult and unintended consequences for churches and faiths”.
“Any change could therefore only be brought after proper and careful consideration of all the issues involved, to ensure that the intended freedom for all denominations over these matters is genuinely secured.”
The Catholic Church and those representing the Muslim faith are also opposed to gay marriage and holding religious civil partnerships.