The Trades Union Congress has today welcomed the government's
consultation on giving lesbian and gay partners the same right to
civil marriage as heterosexual couples.
The government consultation on equal civil marriage is open until
Wednesday 14 June 2012.
The proposed reform of the marriage laws would cover only civil
marriages for gay and lesbian couples and would not affect
religious marriages or offer heterosexual couples the option of
The reform would have the force of law in England and Wales, but
not Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Currently, the law only allows civil partnerships for same sex
couples while marriage is reserved for heterosexual partners, so
the TUC supports the government's decision to review this and has
published a new briefing to coincide with the consultation.
The report sets out what is in the consultation, the public and
media reaction to the debate so far, the government's possible
motivation in changing the law, and how trade unions and gay
organisations may wish to respond to the questions within the
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Opening up civil
marriage to same sex couples would be a welcome step forward on the
long journey towards achieving equality for LGBT people.
"However, not including religious ceremonies for same sex couples
or civil partnerships to heterosexuals who might want this option
in the consultation is very short-sighted - and shows we still have
a very long way to go before we can talk about real equality and