Stonewall have introduced The Extension of Marriage to Same-Sex Couples Bill 2012 which would make civil partnerships marriages. It looks interesting. It would mean same-sex couples would have exactly the same rights as married ones.
It’s very short because there aren’t many differences between “marriage” and civil partnerships. The main difference for me is that my civil partnership (to be) feels like everything a marriage is already, I’m just being made to call it something different and THAT is where the split is. It’s that you can’t have a religious civil ceremony (no one can) but then there’s no alternative for same sex couples. There’s also the man from the council who will correct you when you call it a marriage, because it’s not a marriage, it’s different for you because you are different.
If this bill will do anything it’ll make same-sex couples feel more normal. There’s nothing normal about planning a wedding anyway. There’s nothing normal about people fussing over your dress (or suit) or your rings or who is going to throw the bouquet.
Everyone is brought up to expect to get married and taught about the very specific rituals of it. Since there’s no “ritual” expected for same-sex couples it should invoke a kind of freedom, but people still expect all the same things from you. But you aren’t allowed to call it a marriage.
Here’s the link to Stonewall’s bill: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/documents/stonewallmarriagebill.pdf