According to the news reports, Britain is on its way to finally removing the legal distinction between homosexual unions and marriages. This means that gay couples can have the full rights of a regular marriage (a wedding in a church or other religious institution, as well as legal rights). Though civil unions and marriages are almost identical under current UK law, social activists have been fighting for this new change, arguing that the term “civil union” is subtly discriminatory. The country’s civil union law “introduced in 2005, already gives gay couples the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners”.
Unfortunately, the new law would not force religious institutions to recognize the marriages. We’re still a long way from that.