Insights from the UK and beyond
Britain plans to allow same-sex unions to be celebrated in places of worship, removing a key legal distinction between homosexual civil partnerships and heterosexual marriage, newspapers reported on Sunday. The move would lift the ban on religious ceremonies for the registration of gay unions imposed when Britain legalised civil partnerships six years ago.
The government may also propose scrapping the legal definition of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, allowing gay men and women to call their partners husbands or wives, the Sunday Times said. Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone will launch a consultation on the issue next week, the Sunday Telegraph said.
Critics say restricting homosexuals to civil partnerships rather than marriage is a form of discrimination, even when, as in Britain, there little or no difference in the legal rights conferred.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a pre-nuptial agreement made overseas is still valid in Britain — a decision that legal experts say could have far-reaching implications for divorcing couples.
The high-profile case involves German heiress Katrin Radmacher and Frenchman Nicolas Granatino, who married in 1998 and divorced in 2006. The couple signed a pre-nup a few months before marrying and agreed that Granatino would be entitled to nothing should the marriage break down.