The government has announced that it plans to hold a
public consultation to consider how to make civil marriage
available to gay and lesbian couples.
The consultation will begin in March 2012, and follows on
from an announcement in February that the government would be
committing to advancing equality for LGBT individuals.
Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone
"I am delighted to confirm that early next year, this
government will begin a formal consultation on equal civil marriage
for same-sex couples.
"This would allow us to make any legislative changes
before the end of this Parliament.
"We will be working closely with all those who have an
interest in the area to understand their views ahead of the formal
The consultation will cover civil marriage for same sex
couples, but not religious marriage.
Earlier this year, the government announced that religious
buildings would be allowed to host civil partnership registrations;
however it would be up to the discretion of any religious