Think tank Policy Exchange has published a paper examining the case for equal marriage.
The report takes a detailed looked at the pros and cons of same sex marriage, and claims that the balance of argument favours equal marriage.
The report recommends that:
- Same sex couples should be allowed to marry and given the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples.
- Religious bodies or institutions should not be forced to carry out same sex marriages on their premises.
- Religious bodies or institutions should be allowed to ‘opt in’ if they wish to carry out a same sex marriage on their premises.
- A fast track should be provided for existing civil partners who wish to transfer to full marriage.
- Once equal marriage has been introduced, no new civil partnerships should be created.
David Skelton, co-author of the paper, said: “Marriage brings with it hundreds of years of history and a long record of providing stability. It is understandable that some religious bodies do not want to marry same sex couples and the state should respect their choice. Likewise, other religious bodies might wish to carry out gay marriage ceremonies on their premises and they should be able to opt in if they so wish.
“Gay people do not want to change the nature of marriage as some have argued. They just want to be part of an institution that transcends communities, promotes commitment and fidelity, as well as providing stability and a valuable social support structure.”