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The Law Society supports government proposals for same-sex marriage

‘Marriage should be accessible to all,’ says President

The Law Society's response to the Government consultation on same-sex marriage supports its proposals.

Law Society President John Wotton said:

"Our response is based on our commitment to equality before the law and to equality and diversity in society generally.

"Such an important social institution as marriage should be equally accessible to all. From a legal perspective, there is no justification for the current discrimination and lack of equal access to marriage to remain in place. We therefore agree with the Government's proposals.

"So far as the position of the church is concerned, many faiths hold the view that marriage can be between a man and a woman only. This should be respected – to do otherwise would infringe religious freedom under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act. For the same reason, religious groups who wish to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies on their premises should be free to do so."

John Wotton added:

"The European Court of Human Rights has already indicated that it sees same-sex marriage as a matter for national authorities, and that it is not going to force religious groups to conduct same-sex marriages.

"On the basis of equality before the law, we also support civil partnerships being opened up to heterosexual couples who wish to formalise their relationship without getting married."

The Law Society's response can be read here.