Civil Partnerships

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 16th June 2014.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Labour, Sefton Central

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what plans she has to enable civil partnerships to be amended to marriage without recourse to a separate legal process.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 provides that civil partners may convert their civil partnership into marriage under regulations to be made by the Secretary of State, and that the resulting marriage will be treated as having subsisted since the date the civil partnership was formed. Civil partnerships and marriage are separate legal institutions so a process is required for conversion. We are working hard to ensure that couples wanting to convert their civil partnerships into marriages are able to do so as soon as possible. We aim to do this before the end of 2014.

These aspects of implementing the Act take longer because they involve developing and implementing completely new procedures and processes. This contrasts with the work to make new marriages for same-sex couples possible, where we were able to build on existing processes so implementation was more straightforward.

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