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.
Same-sex marriage will remain illegal in the Church of England, as the Government unveiled its plans to extend marriage to gay couples.
David Cameron is facing a backlash from Tory MPs and religious groups over allowing gay weddings in churches.