UK Council forced to overturn it's gay weddings ban

The Civil Partnership Act comes into force in December

Matt Sibley | November 24, 2005

LISBURN, UK — Lisburn City Council has been forced to overturn its policy banning the use of its wedding room for same-sex civil partnership registrations.

The council had banned the use of its Cherry Room for the gay "weddings", prompting gay activists to threaten legal action. However, on Monday night, a council committee were advised by lawyers to lift the ban. The recommendation was then considered by a full meeting of the council on Tuesday evening.

Some councillors weren't happy with the u-turn. Alliance Party councillor Seamus Close said the rules should not have been changed. "If you attack the nucleus of society namely the family and family values, what's left?" he said.

"I am concerned that the Civil Partnership Act will be used as the lead instrument to bring about changes to other pieces of legislation like, for example, adoption law. Where do we go from there, if we allow young people to believe or to think that having two mummies or two daddies is the norm in our society?"

The government is planning to change the adoption laws in the UK to allow same sex partners to jointly adopt. Currently only one of the partners can be the adoptive parent.

However, as Queer Network reported in July, Lisburn Council backed a motion which stated that same-sex civil partnership registration should not be "afforded the same recognition" as a civil marriage ceremony.

The Civil Partnership Act creates a new legal relationship, which two people of the same-sex can form and comes into force in December.

www.queernetwork.co.ukIssued by Gay Link Content

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