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.