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Shared religious buildings to hold gay marriages in England and Wales

First steps have been taken to implement the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act which was made law in July 2013
Shared religious buildings will be able to host same-sex marriages in England and Wales, according to Lord McNally.

Same-sex marriages will be taking place in shared and registered religious buildings in England and Wales, it was revealed today (4 October).

Justice Minister Lord McNally announced the first steps were taken to start implementing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

It will same-sex marriages to take place in venues owned by various different church organizations.

Therefore, if one Christian organization such as the Quakers used one part of a building, and another part of the building was used as a synagogue, then the Quakers would be able to bless same-sex marriages.

The synagogue would not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages.

‘Our society will be made fairer and more inclusive by the new laws, which strengthen the important institution of marriage,’ Lord McNally said.

‘How and whether a shared religious building can be used for marriages of same sex couples is an important part of the work we are doing to implement the new law.

‘The procedures involved must strike the right balance between protecting religious freedom and enabling organisations which want to carry out marriages.’

A consultation released by the Ministry of Justice will provide the necessary details concerning religious marriages within a shared building for opposite sex couples.

Other guidance provided will be on draft regulations, providing details on how to register a church owned building to allow same-sex marriages, and how to manage a shared building with other organizations.

The consultation will include protection for religious organizations who do not want same-sex marriages to occur on their property.

Gay marriages in England and Wales came into law in July, and the first same-sex weddings are expected to take place in summer 2014.

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