(1) The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is amended as follows.
(2) Omit section 6(1)(b) and (2) (prohibition on use of religious premises for registration of civil partnership).
(3) In section 6A (power to approve premises for registration of civil partnership), after subsection (2), insert—
“(2A) Regulations under this section may provide that premises approved for the registration of civil partnerships may differ from those premises approved for the registration of civil marriages.
(2B) Provision by virtue of subsection (2)(b) may, in particular, provide that applications for approval of premises may only be made with the consent (whether general or specific) of a person specified, or a person of a description specified, in the provision.
(2C) The power conferred by section 258(2), in its application to the power conferred by this section, includes in particular—
(a) power to make provision in relation to religious premises that differs from provision in relation to other premises;
(b) power to make different provision for different kinds of religious premises.”
(4) In that section, after subsection (3), insert—
“(3A) For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act places an obligation on religious organisations to host civil partnerships if they do not wish to do so.
(3B) “Civil marriage” means marriage solemnised otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England or any other religious usages.
(3C) “Religious premises” means premises which—
(a) are used solely or mainly for religious purposes, or
(b) have been so used and have not subsequently been used solely or mainly for other purposes.”
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