Gay Europe minister Chris Bryant has confirmed he is engaged to his partner and is hoping to hold his civil partnership ceremony in parliament.
Bryant told the Independent he and his boyfriend Jared Cranney, a company secretary, are engaged. The couple met last year while Bryant was campaigning in Soho with former London mayor Ken Livingstone.
He told the newspaper: “Jared and I are engaged and we hope to have a civil partnership – or a marriage is what it feels like – in March of next year. We’d like to do it in parliament if possible.”
Earlier this month, the Speaker’s Committee began looking at the possibility of allowing civil partnerships to be held in parliament in the same way that marriages for straight couples are. MPs, peers and their children are allowed to use parliament buildings for their ceremonies.
The Church of England does not recognise civil partnerships as marriages, so they cannot be held in the Chapel of St Mary in parliament. However, they can be held in other areas, such as the chapel in Westminster Hall.
Bryant is said to be working with John Bercow, the Speaker, to work out the final details of the ceremony. According to the Independent, Bercow is currently trying to obtain a licence for civil partnerships to be performed on parliament’s grounds.
A spokesman for Bryant confirmed that he and Cranney were hoping to hold their civil partnership in parliament but added that the news had been played down to avoid negative media attention.