Current Affairs

Couple behind civil partnership conversion petition welcome changes

Nick Duffy August 29, 2014
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A couple who campaigned to change the process for converting civil partnerships into marriages have welcomed proposed changes.

The Government announced initial regulations 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 rules, with no official ceremony for the process, no ceremonies outside registry offices, and a “certificate of conversion” issued instead of a marriage certificate.

Over 40,000 people signed a petition against the rules organised by Jakki and Sheila Livesey-van Dorst, and subsequently the regulations were withdrawn by the government to be re-drafted.

The couple, who have been in a civil partnership since 2006, this week met with the junior equalities minister Nick Boles to present him with the final petition, and praised him for “listening well” to their views.

They revealed afterwards that he had  reassured them new regulations being drafted would allow couples to get a marriage certificate, and not just a “certificate of conversion”.

Jakki Livesey-van Dorst, 61 added: “The other really good news is that they are determined that everything will be in place before December the 10th so there will not be any further delays to people who want to marry who are currently in civil partnerships,”

“They are still working at it so I think we need to keep up the momentum and encourage them to get this right this time round.

“I think there is the will and I think we have to show that this is what people generally want.”

Mr Boles said: “I have listened to a range of views on the conversion process, raised by peers, some couples and religious organisations.

“We are now looking again at the draft regulations and will do our utmost to reflect the wishes of couples who want to convert their civil partnership while ensuring appropriate protection for religious organisations.”

More: civil partnership, conversion, England, equal marriage, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, Government, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, nick boles, process, Rights, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, Tory, wedding

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