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FAQ: Why will same-sex marriage be legal only in England and Wales? And other questions

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  1. My civil partner and I have been together for 40 years in August. We really want to get married in a service or ceremony.

    But someone said, we can’t do that, but only ahve our CP converted in an administrative process.

    Does any one know ?

    We really really want to get married with all our friends and family.

    many thanks.

    1. Benjamin Cohen 20 Jul 2013, 4:33pm

      That answer is on there. You can choose whether to just fill in the form or hold a new ceremony!

      1. Equality Network 20 Jul 2013, 5:06pm

        This is an area where the Scottish proposals are slightly different. In England and Wales there will be an administrative process to convert a CP to a marriage, details of which are not yet available (they will be in regulations), but it seems that an optional ceremony will be available.

        The Scottish bill includes an administrative process, but also allows a couple in a CP to marry in exactly the usual way. As with the administrative process, the start date of the marriage will then be backdated to the start of the CP.

        1. If Scot passes its bill then will it also take another yr for gay couples to get married? If so then surely Scot will always be behind Egl/wales and delaying implementation for Scot to catch up doesn’t make sense.

          It wouid also be useful to point out that the converions of CPs to marriages will take longer than allowing non CPed couples to get married. In addition foreign marriages, I believe, will also take longer to be recognised in the UK and they will still therefore be considered as CPs. Surely foreign readers would be interested in that fact?

          Lots of people will be tempted to put off their wedding until they can actually get married BUT a big govt health warning should also be in place for the next yr or so to warn gay couples that they should do a CP for the next yr or so otherwise they will be liable to a possible big inheritance tax bill and no pension rights etc.

          The DCMS says that “first wedding could happen by summer 2014” not must happen by summer 2014

          1. When Scotland passes its Bill, it is unlikely to take a year to implement given that most of the secondary ‘reserved’ legislation that requires updating should have been done by Westminster.

          2. The Equality Network themselves are estimating a year for the secondary legislation in Scotland, although they hope it could be done quicker.


  2. Pavlos Prince of Greece 20 Jul 2013, 4:49pm

    Will same-sex marriage became legal under this law in Jersey and all Chanel Islands ? I guess, no. But how can this happen in Sark, which still in dependence from The Queen and have no own parliament ? And how gay marriage can became legal in similar territories under British rule like Gibraltar, Folklands, St. Helene, Assuntation, Tristano da Cuhna, Southern Georgia or British Virgin Islands ?

    1. All of these territories and dependencies are, in practice, entirely self-governing except for defence and international relations, so the England/Wales and Scottish bills do not affect any of them. Sark does have its own system of government, though until recently it was a very unusual and undemocratic one.

  3. when will the grp start taking applications from married people.

  4. Jeuan David Jones 20 Jul 2013, 5:45pm

    ‘In the end, the devolution that was introduced following the election of Tony Blair in 1997 did not result in Wales having its own Parliament.’

    But you do not explain that devolved government was introduced in Wales by New Labour, albeit with fewer powers than Scotland: The Welsh Assembly, Senedd Cymru.

  5. Lyn Thomas 20 Jul 2013, 5:54pm

    Correction – Wales is not a principality, the principality of Wales was part of the historic area of Wales –

    Using the term the Principality to refer to modern Wales is deprecated – it is officially described as a State or Nation.

    1. Jeremy Hoad 20 Jul 2013, 7:32pm

      Wales is not a State. It is a country (even saying ‘Nation’ is misleading). It is one of three countries and one administrative region that make up the State of the United Kingdom.

      1. Yes it is. A state is an organised political community living under a government. Wales has a government and therefore is a state. Small states can make up a larger state. For example Wales in the UK and Texas in the USA.

        A nation of people can live without a state, like the Palestinians or Turks. Who have no state of their own but live in other states. Or a nation of people can live within a state, called a nation-state. Jewish people living in Israel for example, is a nation-state.

  6. Jeremy Hoad 20 Jul 2013, 7:28pm

    The Queen has also passed all discriminatory, bigoted and homophobic laws by giving them riyal assent including the infamous Section 28. How dare you suggest the Queen is in any way pro-equality. Shame on your biased coverage of this law.

    1. The article says “she has no role to play in the political process” so I think it’s clear HM does what Parliament asks her to do.

      Section 28 was a small, if influential, part of the Local Government Act 1988

      1. I suspect that perhaps people might misread the line, “As Queen, she has passed every single reform into law for both gay and trans people in the UK beginning with the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in 1967,” as celebrating the Queen for being pro-equality. I don’t think it means that; if you read it without bias, it’s a simple statement of fact: the Queen has given (as is required by law) Royal Assent to progressive changes to law. She’s also done the opposite.

        To be honest Jeremy, she does as she’s told. The Head of State must suffer purely ceremonial obeisance from Parliament with little concern for her actual opinions or insight. Who knows what her genuine opinion is – now and then – on homosexuality, equality of marriage et al. We certainly don’t. All that happens is the Queen completes the process with her Royal Assent. Nothing more, nothing less. And whether it’s a good law or one we’ll look back on as sinister, that’s her job.

  7. Can a Scottish civil partnership be converted to a marriage in England and Wales?

    1. Surely Scotland is a separate country and you’d have to go back to your country of origin to change your civil status. I’d be surprised if you could convert a French PACs etc to a British marriage in the UK and I’d be surprised if you’d be able to convert a Scottish CP into an Eng/Welsh marriage. Surely Scottish CPs will always be recognised as CPs in the Eng/Wales with no chance of conversion here.???? Hence perhaps CPs should never fade out to take account of non Eng/Welsh equivalents???

    2. says no – you would have to dissolve the civil partnership then get married. However, I would imagine the Scottish bill will allow you to convert it when that is passed.

      1. Equality Network 21 Jul 2013, 7:12am

        Yes you will be able to change a Scottish CP to a marriage under the Scottish legislation. One way to do it will be to marry in Scotland, but you will also be able to do it by sending in a form – details will be in regulations so still to be made clear. We have discussed with the Scottish Govt why it’s important that you can do that by post from anywhere outside Scotland, without needing to come to Scotland.

  8. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 22 Jul 2013, 4:43am

    See I was correct 2015!!!!

    The UK (except for Northern Ireland) will have gay marriage by 2015!

    Yes I was right, I wish it was way sooner (like now), but all goods things come to those who wait as my English mother would say!!!!!

    2015 was my correct prediction on gay marriage being legal in the UK (without Northern Ireland)!!!!!!

  9. How will this effect ex pat Brits. (lots of us have been wondering) . My Australian partner and I live in Melbourne and have three kids. Can we just go to the High Commission and get a licence and how will it effect the status of my children born to the non British bio dad?

    1. Equality Network 22 Jul 2013, 9:27am

      Some UK consulates will conduct British same-sex marriages. If the one in Melbourne is among them, you will be able to choose whether you want to marry there under the law of England or the law of Scotland. In either case, under the relevant law the non biological father would become legally the children’s step-parent (that’s also the case for a civil partnership) – which is not the same as being legally parent. But I guess what matters to you in practice is how Victorian law would treat your family after the marriage, and I have no idea about that!

  10. We have a civil Partnership arranged for May 2014 and have already given notice, trying to find out whether this can now be a marriage, local registrar doesnt know anything? anyone help?

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