As plans emerged for the introduction of gay marriage, Ayesha Vardag spoke to the Guardian about the differences between gay marriage and the 2005 introduction of civil partnerships.
Ayesha explained to the paper “Civil partnership is almost identical in law to marriage, and is treated by the Courts in the same way … However setting up a distinction, albeit in name only, has caused confusion in the public generally and resentment among gay couples who feel they are being put on a sort of ’second tier’ civil partnership track subordinate to their married heterosexual counterparts. We now have heterosexual couples saying they like the look of civil partnership for themselves and gay couple wanting marriage, when in reality they are the same thing”
Ayesha had previously told the Telegraph that "In a democratic society, the separation of Church and State is of fundamental importance: freedom of religion means the Church should not be obliged to recognise gay marriage; democracy means that if the public want gay marriage legitimised then it is the responsibility of the State to effect that. Since couples can have a perfectly valid legal marriage without any religious involvement at all there should be no conflict between these two imperatives."
She added “The government needs to sweep away the anomaly, legitimise gay marriage in state ceremonies and leave religions to make their own mind about which way they want to jump on the issue.”