Goodness, to my detriment I am severely out of the loop. Especially as it has a significant impact on my viewpoint concerning marriage and civil partnerships in the UK legal system.
France have been offering civil partnerships to same-sex and different-sex couples since 1999. By 2009, 95% of civil partnerships in France were between different-sex couples. For every different-sex civil partnership, there were 2 different-sex civil-weddings.
Civil-marriage in France is performed by the civil authority. A religious ceremony may be performed afterwards, but has no legal status.
As a response to the ongoing debate concerning marriage, is creating equality in the UK legal system possible by allowing civil partnerships for all legal couplings, with a religious authority performing a ceremony to bestow a social status afterwards?
If so, more difficulty could be caused for those groups (e.g. C4M) who are trying to control the definition of marriage. Under such a system it would be the prerogative of the group performing the religious ceremony to decide the definition of marriage, including the option to bless same-sex couples.