To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities
(1) what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Church of England and (b) other church groups on same sex marriages in church;
(2) what representations she has received from the Church of England on same sex marriages in church.
The Government will publish a formal consultation on equal civil marriage in March 2012. I have met with a wide range of organisations ahead of this consultation including with representatives from the following church organisations: Church of England, Catholic Church, the Evangelical Alliance, Christian Institute, Quakers and Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Discussions have been held and are ongoing with other organisations including those representing other faith groups, non-religious groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups.
This consultation will not propose any changes to religious marriage. Same-sex couples will not be able, under these proposals, to have a marriage through a religious ceremony on religious premises.