Government to revise civil partnership conversion process after criticism

Nick Duffy July 24, 2014
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The government will revise regulations for the conversion of civil partnerships to marriages, following a backlash from some couples.

The Government announced the process in June, revealing that the first date couples in civil partnerships can convert to marriage will be 10 December 2014.

However, couples had voiced dismay at some of the regulations, with no official ceremony for the process, and a “certificate of conversion” issued instead of a marriage certificate.

In addition, couples would have only been able to hold ceremonies in a registry office with a Superintendent Registrar present, preventing ceremonies in most wedding venues and all religious ones.

Today, following cross-party talks with peers, the government has agreed to revise the regulations, allowing people to have “the ceremony they want in the location they want”.

A Government spokesperson said: “We have said we will enable civil partnerships to be converted into marriages from 10 December and we will do that.

“We are listening to legitimate concerns during this process – including those from Crossbench peers in the Lords – and as part of this we are working to make sure people have a choice of venues in which they can convert their partnership. The regulations will be debated in the House in due course.”

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero said: “It’s good news that after the sustained pressure from Labour Peers the Government has finally listened to Labour’s calls and agreed to go away and rethink its proposals.

“For many couples across the country this moment will be as special as getting married for the first time and I’m glad that the Government has seen sense and decided to change the procedure so that couples can have the ceremony they’ve been long looking forward to.”

Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister in the House of Lords, Glenys Thornton, tweeted: “Am very pleased, and thank @lindsaynorthover and @NickBolesMP for agreeing to withdraw and amend #EqualMarriage regs #wisedecision”

Related topics: civil partnership, conversion, England, Gay, Government, process, regulations

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