In February last year David Cameron confirmed his intention to make marriage available to homosexual couples. Objections were raised by many, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and some Conservative MP’s, who claimed they were opposed to change in a bid to ‘uphold the sanctity of marriage’.
Today (17 July 2013) I was pleased to hear that Royal Assent was given to the new bill which will enable homosexual couples to marry in either religious or civil ceremonies. The first same-sex marriages are likely to take place in early 2014. The news has received mixed reviews, with some MP’s and equality groups openly declaring their support for the new bill, whilst some religious groups continue to express disappointment. The change has been identified by many as a watershed for English law, which historically has not always responded to society’s views. Perhaps one disappointment for some will be that religious organisations will have to ‘opt-in’ to the new bill and it will be interesting to see what the practical implications will be in due course.
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