Currently civil partnerships are not permissible in religious buildings or buildings used primarily for religious purposes. Some faith groups are open to civil partnerships but are unable to perform legal partnership ceremonies under the current restrictions. This provides the churches the freedom to decide for themselves.I find it deeply encouraging that religious organizations are calling for an expansion of same-sex marriage rights as a matter of religious freedom. (Read more in this article.)
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to allow faith groups to perform civil partnerships within their religious buildings.If you are a British resident (religious or not), I encourage you to sign this petition.
As a side-note, I hadn't realized until recently how many bizarre and arbitrary rules surround weddings in this country. For example, did you know that
If you are having a Civil Ceremony your choice of reading must be a non-religious one, whose use must be authorised by the Superintendent Registrar before your wedding day. (source)I strongly suspect that rules like this (as well as the fact that we have "civil partnerships" rather than simply marriage for same-sex couples) are connected with the fact that Britain has an established church. It is a fact that continues to irk me, in this otherwise fairly enlightened nation - though some people think it's fine and dandy. (Readers are invited to count the fallacies of reasoning in the article linked from the previous sentence.) But that's a rant for another time.
[Correction: Cath has rightfully called me out on a point of fact in the preceding paragraph: although England has an established church, Scotland does not. I apologize for my lapse in fact-checking. I maintain that it is the strong history and tradition of Christian privilege in this country that makes daft rules like the one quoted above possible.]
I'd like to thank Maud, the minister at the local Unitarian church, for bringing this petition to my attention.