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Military Bases: Religious Buildings

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 37516, tabled on 18 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 9 May 2016 to Question 35843, whether chapels owned and administered by the Ministry of Defence are part of the pilot project exploring the registration of civil marriages and partnerships, including same-sex unions.

Answered on

26 May 2016

No chapels owned or administered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) are part of the pilot project exploring the registration of civil marriages and partnerships or same-sex unions.

The MOD supports same-sex marriage and is committed to ensuring that couples are not disadvantaged by their service. We have concluded a study of serving LGBT personnel to obtain their view on this matter.

Should a same-sex military couple wish to have a civil marriage ceremony on the Defence Estate, it is a requirement that the same access must be granted to all members of the public. The project is attempting to indentify suitable sites for this purpose.

Should a same-sex couple from the Armed Forces wish to get married in a military Chapel they must follow the rules surrounding the marriage of same sex couples (Military or Civilian) in Military chapels, which are laid out in 'The Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Use of Armed Forces' Chapels) Regulations 2014'. At present none of the Churches that send Chaplains to the Armed Forces have opted into the provision of marriage for same-sex couples. Some may seek to change their policy in the future.