The Government’s Bill to redefine marriage has taken a new twist, with an amendment tabled to allow heterosexual couples to have civil partnerships instead of marriage.
But supporters of traditional marriage say it will further undermine marriage, and it shows the Government has opened a Pandora’s Box which they can’t control.
The amendment to allow heterosexual couples to enter a civil partnership has been tabled by former Government minister, Tim Loughton MP.
He expects that the measure will attract “widespread support” in the House of Commons.
People have said the Bill does not achieve equality, because gay couples can choose between civil partnerships or gay marriage, while straight couples only have the option of marriage.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wants civil partnerships to be available to all, and he launched a legal action to the European Court of Human Rights.
Colin Hart of the Coalition for Marriage said: “This is yet another amendment that pushes the redefinition of marriage beyond what the Government outlined in its consultation.
“The Government has shifted its position constantly, and this will result in a further weakening of the institution of marriage.”
The Prime Minister has said he would resist any move to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.