The Liberal Democrats will vote on full marriage rights for gay couples at their party conference next month, which will highlight differences within the coalition.
The motion, to be debated at the conference in Liverpool, will advocate civil partnerships being "converted" into full marriage, as well as allowing couples to remain married when one partner undergoes a sex change. The motion is backed by the party leadership.
Currently same-sex couples can contract a civil partnership, which is recognised in law but not given the same status as marriage.
Senior party members admit that the move could risk divisions within the party as well as with the Conservatives, but it is likely to be passed with the support of the grassroots who see equal rights as a key issue defining the party against their coalition partners.Reuse content