The UK government will today commit to marriage equality, with plans to legislate for same-sex marriages before the next general election.

A public consultation will take place in March next year on how to make civil marriages available to same-sex couples.

“I am delighted to confirm that early next year, this government will begin a formal consultation on equal civil marriage for same-sex couples,” Liberal Democrat equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said.

“This would allow us to make any legislative changes before the end of this Parliament.”

The Daily Mail‘s James Chapman reported that the government commitment on the issue came after a “personal intervention” from Prime Minister David Cameron.

It is believed the official announcement is likely to occur at a Liberal Democrat party conference Saturday (UK time).

Gay marriage is effectively legal in the UK under the label of ‘civil partnership’ and not ‘marriage’.

The new legislation proposed would secure marriage equality for all couples.

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