Just thought I'd share parts of the letter I received from the Home Secretary informing me of the consultation on 'equal civil marriage'. This issue is dominating my discussions with party members. I've not read the document yet, and will wait to see how the debate develops before taking a final view on it. But I can say that there are a lot of other issues I'd rather be talking to constituents about. Anyway, I thought it would be useful to make some of the Home Secretary's 'facts' public.
"The consultation looks at removing the bar on same sex couples having a civil marriage......in a register office or approved premises e.g. a hotel"
"We are making no changes to how religious organisations define and solemnize religious marriage. .......I am very clear that a marriage through a religious ceremony and on religious premises will continue to be only legally possible between a man and a woman."
"We are proposing that civil partnerships are maintained for same-sex couples.... enables us to to maintain the current provision of civil partnerships on religious premises, on exactly the same basis as currently.... the bar remains on any religious elements forming part of the civil partnership registration"
"the consultation will allow, for the first time, individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their existing marriage or civil partnership".
There's quite a lot more, but I think I've covered the gist of it.