Tag Archives: Civil Partnership Conversion

Finally, Couples in Civil Partnerships Can Now Marry

As of today, same-sex couples already in a civil partnership can decide if they to convert to a marriage, or remain in this legal status.

Couples already in civil partnerships may opt for a simple conversion at a register office, or a two-stage process, which includes a ceremony at a venue of their choice, which allows them to choose a religious venue, hotel or other venue to host their conversion ceremony. A superintendent registrar must be present for the first part of the conversion, and a religious figure may take over to conduct the rest of the ceremony.

However, the legal formation of the marriage is conducted by the registrar, not the religious minister, unlike in a same-sex marriage for a couple not in a partnership.

Talking to PinkNews, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan and Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles Marriage said:

“Marriage is a universal institution which should be available to all. It is the bedrock of our society and the most powerful expression of commitment that two people can make. While civil partnerships remain an important part of the journey towards legal equality, it is entirely understandable why so many same-sex couples want to be able to enter into the institution of marriage and express their love in the same way as their peers.”

The first same-sex marriages in Scotland take place on New Year’s Eve, but same-sex marriage will remain illegal in Northern Ireland.

Labour’s Shadow Minister says Restrictions on UK Civil Partnership Conversion are ‘Discriminatory and Unfair’

Gloria De Piero, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities has voiced concern over the regulations for converting civil partnerships to marriage, where the ceremonies can take place, and a lack of a marriage certificate for those couples.

In June, the UK Government announced that from the 10th December 2014 couples already in civil partnerships can convert to marriage.

However, Ms De Piero says the regulations state couples can only convert to marriage in a register office with a Superintendent Registrar present, which exempts many register offices and all religious venues.

In a letter addressed to newly appointed Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan, Ms De Piero also states “serious concern” over the fact that couples will also not be issued a marriage licence on converting, only a slip saying the conversion has taken place.

She writes:

“For so many couples across the country, the conversion of their civil partnership will be a moment no less important to them as to those getting married for the first time. Why has the Government chosen to place such restrictions on civil partnership conversions?”

Gloria De Piero

Ms De Piero calls the new regulations “both discriminatory and unfair”, and asks the Government to consider amending the regulations before they are approved, offering the support of Labour to do so.