Two days left to sign petition on religious civil partnerships
There are only two days remaining to sign a petition to call for civil partnerships to be held in religious buildings.
The Civil Partnerships Act, passed in 2004, currently forbids same-sex ceremonies in buildings designed for religious purposes and states that they can only take place in a register office or approved premises.
However some faith groups have said they would like to perform civil partnership ceremonies on their premises but are unable to due to the law as it stands.
Several months ago, the Quakers voted at their annual meeting to hold gay marriages (rather than civil partnerships) making them the first mainstream religious group in Britain to officially sanction gay marriage.
The online petition, which is on the Downing Street website, already has almost 1,700 signatures, more than the 500 needed for an official response. It is hoped that more people will support it in the next two days.
If the petition were to provoke an amendment to the Civil Partnerships Act, churches would have the freedom to decide whether they want to hold ceremonies for gay couples.
The campaign, which was started by Andrew Falconer, a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in the Brighton Pavilion area, has received support from the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group and the Brighton Metropolitan Community Church.
Civil partnerships give same-sex couples the same rights as marriage. Yet gay people who want to celebrate their partnership in a religious setting have never been able to do so.
To add your support to the campaign, click here