PA / Dan Kitwood
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Commons speaker reignites gay marriage in churches debate

Wed 19 Jul 2017
By Marcus Jones

The speaker of the House of Commons has reignited the gay marriage debate by suggesting marriage will only really be equal when same sex unions can take place in church buildings.

John Bercow has been addressing a reception for gay newspaper Pink News in parliament.

He said: "We are marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

"There's always a balance to be struck - we don't want to behave as though it's all over, that everything has been done. Nothing remains - because that isn't true.

"I still feel that we can only really have equal marriage when you can b***** well get married in a church if you want to do so."

When the law changed in 2013, churches were offered a protection that they wouldn't be forced to host gay marriages in their building.

Churches wishing to opt-in, can apply to be except from the protection.

Only a small number have chosen to host the ceremonies including the Scottish Episcopal Church and the United Reformed Church.

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