The Quakers, the Unitarians and Liberal Jews will be free to host civil partnership ceremonies on their religious premises from 2012 after an attempt to annul the law in the House of Lords was defeated.
Liberal Democrat and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said:
“A number of faiths have made it very clear to me and others that they want to allow same-sex couples to have their civil partnership ceremony in their places of worships.
“As a Liberal Democrat, I strongly believe that we should make this possible and that is why the Coalition Government is doing the right thing in allowing these faiths to celebrate the love that two people have for each other.
“From the outset, we made it clear that we would not force any faith to do so and the House of Lords have today recognised that there are appropriate safeguards.
“I look forward to working equally constructively with all interested people and organisations as we move ahead with the Coalition Government’s plan to open up marriage to same-sex couples. Our commitment to equality runs deep, as next year’s consultation on equal marriage will show.”