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UK opens 12-week consultation on marriage equality

LONDON -- The 12-week consultation on how to lift the ban on gay couples marrying in a civil ceremony in England and Wales has been launched by the UK government today.

The Home Office confirmed the consultation will look at how to remove this barrier and bring about equal non-religious marriage. Under proposals, civil partnerships could be converted to marriages if couples wish.

The document confirms that straight civil partnerships are not currently under consideration but welcomes views on the subject.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, whatever their gender.

“Today is a hugely important step as we consider how to lift the ban on civil marriage for same-sex couples.

“This is about the underlying principles of family, society, and personal freedoms.

“Marriage is a celebration of love and should be open to everyone.”

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