Government consults on Equal Marriage

A Government consultation has been launched today which outlines plans to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony.

The key proposals of the consultation are:

  • To enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)
  • To make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
  • To retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
  • Civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
  • Individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage
  • Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, but not civil marriage

Anyone wishing to respond to the consultation should complete the online consultation form. The full details of the consultation are set out in the pdf version of the consultation document, which is available to download here. The Home Office impact assessment is available for download here. (Links open in pdf format in a new window)