Lords vote to allow civil partnership ceremonies in church

The House of Lords has voted to amend the Equality Bill to 'allow, but not compel', religious organisations to host same-sex couples holding civil partnership ceremonies inside churches. Peers voted by a majority of 74 in favour of the amendment, which was not backed by the government, but it is thought to be unlikely that MPs would make any significant changes.

Labour Lord Alli proposed the amendment, telling the Lords: "There are many gay and lesbian couples who want to share their civil partnership with the congregations that they worship with, and there are a number of religious organisations that want to allow gay and lesbian couples to do exactly that."

He added that the amendment was not an "attack" on the Church of England or the Catholic Church.

The BBC reported that the leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Royall and Conservative equality spokesman Baroness Morris of Bolton, who is Catholic, both spoke against the amendment but later abstained.

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