Britain pushes forward on same-sex law

March 15, 2012 at 8:19 AM
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LONDON, March 15 (UPI) -- British officials say criticism from the Church of England and Roman Catholic church will not deter plans to consider a law allowing same-sex marriage.

The Guardian reported a Home Office consultation paper is expected to say civil marriage should be made available to same-sex couples but will also ask if the status quo should be maintained.

"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," a Home Office spokesperson said. "We are absolutely clear that we are not changing religious marriage. The consultation will only look at civil marriage ceremonies."

A formal consultation over same-sex marriage was delayed last year by concerns from church figures.

The two most senior archbishops in the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales say changing the law would gradually transform the way society looks at marriage, The Guardian said Thursday.

"There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children," they said in a letter read last weekend in parish churches.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said law should not be used as a tool to bring about social changes such as gay marriage.

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