3 –PinkNews exposes that children as young as 11 were being taught to sign anti-gay rights petition in state funded schools>

Shortly after the Coalition for Marriage launched its campaign against equal marriage, a PinkNews exclusive investigation revealed that the children as young as 11 were being taught to sign the petition in state funded schools.

Following PinkNews’s exclusive investigation, the Education Secretary Michael Gove was said to be concerned that the Catholic Education Service that unintentionally blurred the distinction between discussing issues that are a matter of faith and promoting partisan political views.”

Also following PinkNews’s investigation, the Welsh government ruled that any Catholic schools in the principality that taught children about the campaign against same-sex marriage must teach them the “converse view” and promote pro-equality campaigns with equal weight at anti-gay campaigns.

2 – Cardinal Keith O’Brien describes same-sex marriage as ‘grotesque’

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the UK’s most senior Catholic, was on a mission to become the most repeatedly outspoken religious equal marriage critic in 2013. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph in March, he warned that same-sex marriage was a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. He suggested that it would lead to three-way marriages and was akin to legalising slavery.

1 – Government confirms gay couples will be able to marry in 2013

Equal marriage dominated the headlines throughout 2012; so it is fitting that several key moments feature in this year’s list. However, the event of biggest political significance occurred on 11 December, when Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities Maria Miller (pictured) formally announced in the Commons that gay couples in England and Wales would be allowed to marry after legislation is passed in 2013 – it was days after David Cameron had confirmed that he was in favour of allowing religious organisations the freedom to provide same-sex marriages.

Although the move was warmly welcomed in most parts of the LGBT community, the decision to specifically ban the Church of England and the Church in Wales from marrying gay couples as part of the government’s ‘quadruple legal lock’ angered both liberal Anglicans and equality campaigners.  

Outside of the state Anglican churches, religious organisations who want to marry gay couples, such as the Unitarians and Quakers will be able to so do, providing their governing bodies agree.

As well as ending the ban on same-sex marriage and allowing same-sex couples to marry in churches and synagogues, the proposed new law will end the practise of forcing married couples to convert their relationship into a civil partnership if one of the couple legally changes their gender.

The Scottish Government also published its proposed legislation to introduce marriage equality in 2013 during the same week.

This article was jointly authored by the PinkNews editorial team. We wish you all the best over the festive season!