Equal marriage: the Government's response

Document type
Discussion paper
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Government Equalities Office
Government Equalities Office
Date of publication
1 December 2012
Families, Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

Download (359KB )

This document describes the views expressed during the consultation on proposed policy changes to allow same-sex civil marriage and outlines the Government’s proposed way forward to enable same-sex couples to get married. Overall, views were divided. Of the 228,000 responses to the consultation, 53% agreed that same-sex couples should be able to have a civil marriage ceremony and 46% disagreed. Respondents acknowledged that the introduction of civil partnerships was a significant step forward in society. A few respondents, who agreed with the proposals, nevertheless felt that there are too many differences, both practically and symbolically, between marriage and civil partnerships. However, others disagreed with these views and did not believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married. Most of these responses commented that this was because it did not fit in with the current legal definition of marriage, as being between a man and a woman. The Government response recognises that there is a broad range of strongly held views on this issue. After taking into account the responses the Government continues to believe that same-sex couples should have access to a civil marriage ceremony.

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