Britain planning to allow same-sex unions in churches

The British government said yesterday that they are planning to allow same-sex couples to hold civil partnership ceremonies in churches, reports the AFP.

Citing the Sunday Telegraph, the AFP reports that religious elements, like hymn singing and Bible readings, could be incorporated in such ceremonies for the first time. (Under the current law, civil partnerships must be secular.) It was not clear whether a civil partnership ceremony held in a church could be formally called a "marriage," reports The Independent.

The Church of England has announced that it will not allow civil partnership ceremonies in any of its buildings. In contrast, Quakers, Unitarians, and Liberal Jews are "likely to be more sympathetic," reports the AFP.

Introduced in Britain in December 2005, civil partnerships give same-sex couples almost the same rights as married heterosexual ones, reports the AFP. As of May 2010, over 26,000 civil partnerships had been formed, based on records of the Office of National Statistics.

For more on this story, log on to Yahoo News and The Independent.

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