UK same-sex reforms see ‘husband & wife’ removed
Daily Mail 16 March 2012
Reforms to allow same-sex marriage in the UK will see the words husband and wife removed from official forms. Tax and benefits guidance and immigration documents must be rewritten so they no longer assume a married couple is a man and a woman. And private companies will be told to overhaul paperwork and computer databases containing the words. Marriage certificates could even be affected by the Coalition proposals, with rules axing terms such as bride and bridegroom. The reforms – promised by Prime Minister David Cameron last autumn and set out in a consultation paper launched yesterday – intend to open civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples for the first time. A different category – religious marriage – will be reserved for male and female couples. They have triggered a furious row, with the Church of England accusing the Coalition of misunderstanding the law of marriage. But Britain’s Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone warned religious leaders not to “fan the flames of homophobia” with “inflammatory” language.