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September 19, 2011 Print

Britain Moves to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

by Karla Dial

On Saturday, Britain’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities Lynne Featherstone announced the government next March will launch an effort to legalize same-sex marriage.

By initiating the consultation next spring, any legislative changes Parliament needs to make would already be done by the time the next election rolls around in 2015. Conservative Party members say the measure has Prime Minister David Cameron’s support.

Britain has had a law bestowing all the benefits of marriage on same-sex couples, known as the Civil Partnership Act, since December 2005.

Carrie Gordon Earll, CitizenLink’s senior director of issue analysis, said states considering civil unions can learn a lot from what’s going on in the U.K.

“Civil unions with all the rights and benefits of marriage are not enough to satisfy gay activists who demand the name of marriage be attached to these relationships,” she said. “We’ve seen this in Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire, where civil unions ushered in same-sex marriage – either through the courts or the state legislature. Gay marriage advocates are now targeting Rhode Island and New Jersey to replace civil unions there with gay marriage. So if a state thinks civil unions will appease gay activists, just consider these states.”

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