Civil partnership ceremonies could include religious elements under a proposal being considered by Britain's government, the Telegraph reported.

The move comes after lawmakers lifted a ban earlier this year on gay unions in churches and other places of worship.

Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister, said the government was considering allowing the use of “religious readings, music and symbols” in gay union ceremonies.

A main distinction between civil partnerships – first introduced in 2005 – and marriage has been its secular requirements.

The proposal, however, has already drawn heated opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.

“The Church of England is not proposing to open its churches for civil partnership registrations,” a Church of England spokesman told the paper.

Because the move would remove one of the few remaining distinctions between civil partnerships and marriage, gay rights advocates are urging the government to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

“Instead of tinkering with the second-class system of civil partnerships, the government should bring forward legislation to legalize same-sex marriage,” gay activist Peter Tatchell said.