It has emerged that Registrars who are opposed to civil partnerships (often called Gay Marriages) may plead a “conscientious objection” to the relationship and as such refuse to officiate over the ceremonies when they begin in December of this year.

The Association of Registrars and Celebratory Services, who represent Registrars, has condemned the moves by some of their members to boycott the services. They have publicly called on all of their members to comply with the Civil Partnerships Act and ensure that ceremonies are “conducted universally up and down the country”.

There are fears that in areas where there are only a small number of Registrars, particularly in rural areas, that couples will not be able to find one who will perform the ceremony for them. Without a Registrar, the partnership cannot be recognised.