Today’s announcement removes the assumption that religion and homosexuality are incompatible. In 5 weeks time, religious settings will be free, if they so chose, to host civil partnerships. It is shameful that in 2011 we still had a ban on religious organisations from hosting civil partnerships.
It should be reiterated that no religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration. For those religions that wish to host these ceremonies however this is an important step forward.
When those inevitable shrill voices pierce the media screaming of secular views being forced onto discriminated Christians, it should be made clear that this move holds no obligations. It is a form of deregulation if anything, the removal of barriers. A faith, such as the Quakers who have already decided to host civil partnerships will now be free to do so without the risk of facing persecution.
This is a victory for religious liberty that should be celebrated. The state has no place to interfere in these circumstances. A religion should be free, if it so chooses, to host civil partnerships. This is a step closer to the liberal society that I strive for whilst also breaking down some outdated discrimination.