Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone on Saturday unveiled plans to make gay marriage legal in Britain before 2015.

Featherstone said at the Liberal Democrats party conference in Birmingham that the Conservative Party was committed to changing the law. The Conservative Party is Britain's largest political party. It governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Prime Minister David Cameron is the party's leader. He supports the move.

Great Britain currently recognizes the unions of gay and lesbian couples with civil partnerships, which offer most of the legal protections of marriage.

“Britain must not get complacent. We are a world leader for gay rights, but there is still more that we must do. In March, this Government will begin a formal consultation on how to implement equal civil marriage for same sex couples,” Featherstone said, according to The Daily Mail.

“And this would allow us to make any legislative changes necessary by the end of this Parliament.”

“Civil partnerships were a welcome first step – but this party rejects prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.”

“And I believe that to deny one group of people the same opportunities offered to another is not only discrimination, but is not fair,” she added.

The consultation will not consider whether to allow gay and lesbian couples to have religious marriages.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell told the BBC that there was no reason to delay.

“I am not convinced that there needs to be any consultation at all,” Tatchell said. “The ban on same-sex marriage is homophobic discrimination and should be repealed.”

“It is an insult to people of faith for the equality minister to rule out any repeal of the ban on religious organizations conducting same-sex marriages,” he added.

It was not clear whether gay couples in civil partnerships would be upgraded to marriage or whether the union was being eliminated.