Civil partners will be able to convert to marriage by the end of the year

Gay and straight weddingsSame sex couples currently in civil partnerships will be able to convert these into marriages by the end of this year, the government has confirmed.

Equalities Minister Helen Grant made the announcement to a House of Commons committee which is examining the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

However, any religious organisations involved in planned ceremonies, such as churches, will have to give their permission, she stressed.

The first same sex weddings, for couples not already in civil partnerships, will take place on March 29.

The committee debated some final technical amendments to the legislation , Pink News reports. These included the registration of same sex marriages in religious premises used by more than one organisation, and the terminology used in shared pension schemes.

The committee includes opponents of same sex marriage, such as Tory MPs Tim Loughton and Sir Edward Leigh.

Meanwhile ,the government has launched a consultation on the future of civil partnerships.

The closing date for responses to the Civil Partnership Review is 17 April.

Photo by Archie McPhee via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

View more from this author

2 comments

JimSmith - February 27, 2014 at 3:44am

Not mentioned, but this change also has the effect of allowing a transsexual person to obtain legal gender recognition without any longer being forced into a divorce that neither spouse wants. This has been a long time coming, married transsexual people have been waiting for this concession unable to move forward with their lives since 2004.

DT - February 27, 2014 at 7:24am

Excellent news!

Leave a comment