Changing the definition of marriage and enforcing it throughout the nation has become official Liberal Democrat policy following a vote at their annual conference.
It means the party backs the legalisation of same-sex marriage but Ben Summerskill, head of homosexual lobby group Stonewall, says the Lib Dem motion will cost as much as £5 billion to implement.
The motion was passed by a significant majority although a handful of members said it was a step too far and risked losing the party voters.
While Lib Dem Government ministers supported the move, it is unlikely to immediately affect Coalition Government policy.
In addition to allowing same-sex marriage, the motion would also allow people of the opposite sex to enter into civil partnerships.
Yesterday at a fringe meeting Ben Summerskill was asked why Stonewall – Britain’s leading homosexual lobby group – is not pushing for homosexual marriage as a priority.
According to sources Mr Summerskill responded by saying the scheme’s implementation – including allowing heterosexuals to enter civil partnerships – could cost a staggering £5 billion.
Lib Dem party leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is on record as favouring the legalisation of homosexual marriage.
Prime Minister David Cameron said before the General Election that he was happy to discuss the issue but he has no immediate plans to change the definition of marriage.
If marriage was redefined and enforced on society there would be a likely increase in hostile litigation against those who hold to marriage as being between one man and one woman for life.