A change in the law came into force on 10th December, giving couples in a civil partnership the right to convert this into a marriage.
The new legislation is designed to give couples in England and Wales the freedom to choose how they would like to carry out the conversion of their civil partnership into marriage, while still providing the religious protections enshrined in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
With effect from 10th December, couples in England and Wales have the choice to convert their civil partnership into a marriage in a local register office, or to celebrate with a ceremony in approved premises or religious premises where marriages of same sex couples can take place.
Couples will be issued with a marriage certificate, which will show the marriage should be treated as existing from the date of the original civil partnership.
“It has been wonderful this year to see same sex couples finally able to celebrate their relationship in the way other couples have done for centuries,” commented Jo Swinson, Minister for Equalities.
“This has meant a huge amount of personal joy for gay men and women and their families, and has made our society stronger and fairer,” she said.
“Today we take the final step in implementing this historic legislation, by allowing couples to convert their civil partnership into marriage, if they want to,” she added.
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