MPs could vote on allowing gay couples to get married within weeks after David Cameron and Nick Clegg decided to fast-track the required legislation, it has been reported.
Tory opponents have become increasingly vocal and the Daily Mail reports that the prime minister wants to get same-sex marriage approved quickly to put the controversy behind him.
The government had initially said same-sex marriage would be introduced before 2015, leaving the impression a bill was not imminent.
And campaigners for gay marriage had been disappointed after the government failed to include plans legislation in the Queen's Speech.
But according to the Daily Mail, Downing Street will introduce a Bill in the New Year, rather than let the row with Tory backbench MPs rumble on.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which holds the equalities brief, told The Huffington Post UK that reports about the timetable for any legislation were just "speculation".
“We have been clear that we will publish the government’s response to the consultation on equal civil marriage before Christmas," a spokesperson said.
"We will set out then how we will proceed, and it is premature to discuss the timetable of a Bill before that. This is an emotive issue and will be thoroughly discussed in both Houses of Parliament.”
Despite opposition from some Tory MPs and religious groups, the government should not have trouble passing any Bill into law as it is supported by both the Lib Dems and the Labour Party.
However it would be embarrassing for Cameron if he had to rely on the votes of Labour MPs to pass a government Bill.Suggest a correction