Showing posts from February, 2014

If We're A Gay Couple, Can We Have A Religious Wedding?

By Mperezpbro (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons The 2004 Civil Partnership Act maintained that gay couples could not include religion in their civil ceremony. So no vows, iconography, prayers, hymns or biblical readings at all. This remains true of civil  ceremonies  today.  Gay marriage will, in theory, change this.  Religious venues will be allowed to perform same-sex marriages on their premises but only if the religion has opted to do so. The Government is keen to enhance marriage equality laws but not at the expense of religious freedom. If a religious group opts-out of performing same-sex marriages, they can't be sued for discrimination.  It's a sort of get out of jail free card for religions uncomfortable with the idea of equal marriage.  For example, if the Catholic Church opt-out (and they will) then no Catholic church in the UK will be able to officiate a same-sex ceremony.  Religious

Is It Possible To Marry My Partner By Dissolving Our Civil Partnership?

By Original (Anillos.jpg): Musaromana; this one: Tangopaso (Adaptation of File:Anillos.jpg on Commons) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons   It’s unclear whether a civil partnership can be dissolved on the grounds of wanting to be married . It’s unlikely. Ordinarily, there are valid reasons as to why a relationship is no longer viable : abuse, unfaithfulness or desertion for example. It suggests that a couple might need to lie about why they’re separating; this is far from ideal for both the couple and the court.  It isn’t the only option however.  From late 2014, couples will be able to convert their existing partnerships to marriage; it’s just a matter of waiting.  However, what if you don’t want to wait? How exactly do you dissolve a civil partnership if you want to get married? ·          Firstly, you have to have been in a partnership for at least one y

What Will Gay Marriage Offer That A Civil Partnership Doesn't?

By Bob With (Flickr: gays can marry, sf rules) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons What Is Gay Marriage? From March 29th 2014, same-sex couples in England and Wales will be allowed to marry.  By redefining its understanding of gender, the Government will bring straight and gay marriage under the same umbrella. Marriage will be marriage and without a prefix of straight or gay. Civil partnerships however, are not being replaced and they will continue to be offered to same-sex couples across the UK. For some however, the road to equality can only ever end in marriage. The 2004 Civil Partnership Act has already done much of the legwork. The Marriage Act therefore, can be considered the brush stroke of a subtler – but no less important – reform.  Its strength lies in its language. Marriage is, after all, a loaded term and one hardwired into both law and the public consciousness. A civil ceremony might be like a marriage but it isn’

If We Already Have A Civil Partnership Should We Marry?

By Me [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Are Civil Partnerships Being Replaced? Civil partnerships are not being replaced, so it won’t be a case of marriage or bust. Same-sex couples in England and Wales (and Scotland soon after) will have  the right to choose  between the two.  As Civil Partners Are We Expected To Marry? If you already have a civil partnership then you have 4 options:  In terms of legal entitlement the Civil Partnership Act pretty much nailed it. If you’re happy then why change anything? You could stay in a civil partnership forever without the need to convert to marriage. You could wait and see. A civil partnership shouldn't be seen as a diet marriage or as something that needs to be upgraded immediately. Revisit the issue a few years from now and see how you feel. You can convert your partnership into marriage. For most gay couples the two terms have always been interchangeable. All you’ll need to do is fill in a form and pay

What Is A Civil Partnership And How Do I Get One?

Photo by  Stefano Bolognini In Europe, same-sex relationships can be documented as far back as Ancient Greece .  For the many gay couples living or co-habiting in the UK , the 2005 Civil Partnership Bill was long overdue . What is a Civil Partnership? A civil partnership is a binding contract recognised by the law. For same-sex couples, it offers access to many of the legal rights already enjoyed by heterosexual couples who choose to marry. In November 2003, the British Government announced its intentions to legalise same-sex partnerships throughout the United Kingdom . Despite expectations of strong opposition, the bill became law in 2004 and came into effect on December 5 th 2005. Why Are Civil Partnerships Important? Compared to the razzle-dazzle of the big day, it’s easy to forget how important legal entitlement will be to a same-sex couple; even if they don’t realise it at the time. Some of the key benefits are: The right to enter a joint c