The Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales reasserted their position that marriage is between a man and woman despite Prime Minister David Cameron's support for gay civil marriages. Gay couples have already been allowed to enter into civil partnerships since 2005. A new law would extend those privileges to include the title of marriage.
Bishops argue that gay couples already receive the benefits of civil marriage and that calling it "marriage" would add to the divisiveness that already exists.
Home Secretary Theresa May has commented that she does not plan to force the hand of the church even though the Church of England is obligated to perform marriage ceremonies for any member of a local parish that wishes to do so.