Landmark move towards same-sex marriage a step closer

// 15 March 2012

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Home Office logo

Via the Home Office website:

Same-sex couples have moved a step closer to the right to marry in a civil ceremony.

The Home Office today launched a consultation on how to allow everyone to have a civil marriage.

People will be able to have their say on the proposed changes by completing the online survey.


Under current law same-sex couples can have a civil partnership but not a civil marriage. The government wants to make the right to marry in civil premises, like a register office or hotel, available to everyone.

Key Facts

  • The proposal is to remove the ban on same-sex couples having a civil marriage
  • The consultation will look at civil marriage only i.e. only civil marriage ceremonies in a register office or other approved premises (like a hotel)
  • No changes are proposed to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
  • Not looking at civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples
  • The consultation will propose that civil partnerships are retained as an option for same-sex couples, once civil marriage is opened up
  • 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.

For anyone interested in completing the survey, here’s the link

Comments From You

Benjamin M. A'Lee // Posted 15 March 2012 at 1:31 pm

Nice to see that there needs to be consultation and discussion around whether people should be treated equally. Oh well, it’s better than nothing…

Laura // Posted 15 March 2012 at 3:30 pm

Filling this now. Particularly enjoying this sentence (from my perspective as someone in an opposite-sex relationship): “The government is not considering opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples because we have been unable to identify a need for this.” Despite the fact that a heterosexual couple are taking this very issue to the Court of Human Rights.

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