The government's Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone, said
no religious group would be forced to host them, but those who
wished to could apply by the end of the year.
The announcement was made in a written response to a
consultation, the BBC report.
Featherstone said: "The government is advancing equality for LGB
people and ensuring freedom of religion for people of all
"No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership
registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important
The move was promised by Prime Minister David Cameron at a
lesbian and gay reception in 10 Downing Street, two years
The shift will cover religious premises of all beliefs, including
mosques and synagogues.
A Church of England spokesman said it had no intention of
allowing civil partnerships to be registered in its churches.
"The House of Bishops' statement of July 2005 made it clear that
the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for
those who register civil partnerships and that remains the
position," he said.
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell welcomed the reform but
claims the government's policy is "inconsistent."
Mr Tatchell, who coordinates www.equallove.org.uk and campaigns to
repeal the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex
civil partnerships adds:
"It is ironic that while the government is allowing civil
partnerships in religious premises, it recently announced that it
will maintain the ban on religious gay marriages, even if a faith
organisation wants to conduct them.
"We believe religious organisations should be permitted by law to
perform both same-sex religious marriages and same-sex civil
partnerships, if they wish to do so. The current blanket bans must
"It is an infringement of religious freedom to prohibit faith
organisations from conducting these ceremonies when some of them -
such as Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews - would like to
"The Equality Minister is supporting discrimination and attacking
religious liberty," said Mr Tatchell.