Fact File: Gay Marriage

 

When Prime Minister David Cameron, an erstwhile supporter of Section 28, backed gay marriage at the 2011 Tory party conference, it seemed the reform which began with the Civil Partnership Act 2004 would soon be complete.

By the time the Government’s long-awaited policy consultation was launched, however, the path looked far from clear.

Leading members of the Church of England have publicly voiced disapproval of state intervention in what they consider church matters, while Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic clergyman courted controversy by comparing gay marriage to the injustice of slavery. The issue has also been the source of significant dispute within the Conservative Party itself.

Even the civil marriage legislation does not propose total equality. Same-sex couples in the UK will still be banned from marrying in religious ceremonies on religious premises (regardless of the views of the owner of the premises), and civil partnerships will still be closed to opposite-sex couples.

Citing the example of his late, gay uncle, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has urged the Government to extend its legalisation plans to include religious ceremonies.

The Numbers

£3.7m – Estimated cost of introducing same sex marriage, according to Government figures. Source: Home Office, Equal Civil Marriage: Impact Assesment

53,417 – Number of civil partnerships formed in the UK since legalisation in 2005, up to the end of 2011. Source: Office for National Statistics

509 – Number of civil partnerships dissolutions granted in the UK in 2010. Source: Office for National Statistics

£25,000 – Legal costs paid by same-sex couple Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger, after they lost their battle to have their marriage recognised in Britain. Source: Pink News

Further Reading

How do gay couples divorce? Anne Kay, BBC New Magazine, 2008

David Cameron  pre-election interview, Gay Times, 2010

A conservative case for gay marriage, Time Montgomerie, ConservativeHome, 2012

Against gay marriage? Too late, it’s already here, Philip Hensher, The Independent, 2012

Timeline

1682 – The marriage of Arabella Hunt to James Howard is annulled on the grounds that Howard was in fact a woman called Amy Poulter

1971 – The Nullity of Marriage Act is passed, explicitly banning marriage between same-sex couples in England and Wales

2004 – The Civil Partnership Bill becomes law

2005 – The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect

2010 – Lib Dems become the first major political party to formally endorse same-sex marriage

2012 - US president Barack Obama announces his support for gay marriage

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Class 2 HGV Driver - with CPC

£26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Haulage company based on the Thorpe Indu...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - OTE £40,000

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence