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Same sex marriage is an important step towards LGBT equality, says TUC

The TUC has yesterday welcomed the government's consultation on giving lesbian and gay partners the same right to civil marriage as heterosexual couples.

Currently the law only allows civil partnerships for same sex couples while marriage is reserved for heterosexual partners, so the TUC supports the government's decision to review this and has published a new briefing to coincide with the consultation.

The report sets out what is in the consultation, the public and media reaction to the debate so far, the government's possible motivation in changing the law, and how trade unions and lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) organisations may wish to respond to the questions within the consultation.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Opening up civil marriage to same sex couples would be a welcome step forward on the long journey towards achieving equality for LGBT people.

'However, not including religious ceremonies for same sex couples or civil partnerships to heterosexuals who might want this option in the consultation is very short-sighted - and shows we still have a very long way to go before we can talk about real equality and inclusion.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The government consultation on equal civil marriage is open until Wednesday 14 June 2012. The proposed reform of the marriage laws would cover only civil marriages for gay and lesbian couples and would not affect religious marriages or offer heterosexual couples the option of civil partnerships. The reform would have the force of law in England and Wales, but not Scotland or Northern Ireland. The TUC briefing is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/264/Equalcivilmarriagebriefing.pdf

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E:
media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E:
rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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