Leading gay rights charity Stonewall is celebrating the announcement that gay couples in civil partnerships will be able to convert to marriage from December.

Minister for Equalities Sajid Javid earlier today announced that couples already in civil partnerships will be able to convert to marriage by attending a register office from 10 December 2014.

Sam Dick, Director of Campaigns at Stonewall told PinkNews: “We’re delighted that the Government has finally announced this date allowing tens of thousands of couples to plan their celebrations with family and friends.

“We very much hope that the process is straight forward, inexpensive and finally gives these couples the marriage certificate they’ve long waited for.”

Today’s announcement came at the end of a public consultation into the future of civil partnerships. The Government concluded that civil partnerships will not be abolished, but also will not be extended to straight couples.

The results showed that 76% of respondents were against extending civil partnerships to straight couples, but that a majority were also against abolishing the legislation altogether.