Meg Munn, the Equality Minister yesterday launched the government’s publicity drive for the Civil Partnerships Act. The change in the law that allows gay couples to have similar rights to married straight couples comes into force in England and Wales on the 5th December, allowing the first ceremony to take place on the 21st December.

Civil Partners will have the same rights as married couples in terms of taxation, employment, social security benefits and housing, next of kin rights, and, if the event of the partnership dissolving, a court can rule on the division of property and maintenance payments.

Launching a publicity drive to inform the gay community of the changes, Mrs Munn said: “It is ridiculous that we have had a system that does not recognise the relationship of a gay couple who may have lived together for 20 years. One partner could be excluded from the funeral if the other died, or lose their joint home because of inheritance tax.”

The campaign that includes advertising in the gay press, has featured on the sponsored links section of PinkNews.co.uk for the past three weeks.

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