The four legal locks offered for gay marriage opponents

The Government has said its plans to legislate same-sex marriage build on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to freedom of religion.

The "quadruple" legal lock included in the face of the legislation is as follows:

  • No religious body or individual minister can be compelled to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises.
  • It will be unlawful for religious organisations or their ministers to marry same-sex couples unless their organisation's governing body has expressly 'opted in'.
  • The Equality Act 2010 is to be amended to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.
  • The legislation will explicitly state that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples and that Canon Law, which bans same-sex weddings, will continue to apply.

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CofE exempt from gay marriage

New legislation will explicitly state that it will be illegal for the established Churches of England and Wales to conduct same-sex marriages, Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced.