England and Wales to Allow Gay Couples to Hold Civil Partnership Ceremonies in Churches

Gay couples will soon be allowed to hold civil partnership ceremonies in churches, in England and Wales, the BBC reports:

FeatherstoneEqualities Minister Lynne Featherstone (pictured) said no religious group would be forced to host them, but those who wished to could apply by the end of the year.

The Church of England said it has "no intention" of blessing gay couples.

Previously, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the change was "long overdue".

The announcement was made in a written response to a consultation. Ms Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat MP, said: "The government is advancing equality for LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) people and ensuring freedom of religion for people of all faiths. "No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward."