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Equality North East

Bishops to back end of ban on civil partnerships in religious premises

Senior Church of England bishops in the House of Lords say that they will now support an amendment to the Equality Bill to lift the ban on civil partnership ceremonies taking place on religious premises.

This follows the withdrawal of an amendment to the Equality Bill on the issue following opposition from two key bishops. The Archbishop of York and other bishops also helped to weaken the Bill in other respects when it last came to the Lords, in order to preserve their ability to discriminate in employing auxiliary staff. The Bill returns to parliament for consideration in March 2010.

An Equality Bill amendment and a change to the the Equality Bill would have the effect of removing the legislative prohibition on blessings of lesbian and gay couples. It would open the door to the registration of civil partnerships in churches, synagogues, mosques and all other religious premises - as a matter of choice rather than of compulsion.

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February 23, 2010

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