Thinking Anglicans

News about civil partnerships and marriage

Updated Friday morning

The Minister for Equalities, Sajid Javid , has announced the date from which those in civil partnerships will be able to convert them into marriages, if they so wish. The date is 10 December. The announcement was made in an article for Pink News: Sajid Javid: I am pleased to announce that couples can soon convert civil partnerships to marriage.

We’ve made the process of conversion as straightforward as possible. Couples will simply have to attend a Register Office and sign a declaration that they both wish to convert their Civil Partnership to a marriage in front of the Superintendent Registrar. That’s it.

Mr Javid also said:

From 10 December there is also good news for married transgender people. You will now be able to change your legal gender without ending your marriage, provided you and your husband or wife agree to remain married.

Also today the Government Equalities Office published the results of their consultation on the future of civil partnerships. The report can be found here.

This is the report on the conclusions of the review of civil partnership in England and Wales required under section 15 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. It includes a summary of the responses to the consultation which was carried out as part of the review. Given the lack of consensus on the way forward for civil partnership, the Government will not be making any changes.

So civil partnerships will continue to be available, but only to same-sex couples.

And the Ministry of Justice started a consultation on Marriages by non-religious belief organisations.

Section 14 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 requires a review to be carried out of whether the law should be changed to permit marriages by non-religious belief organisations.

The consultation asks if there is a substantial case for changing the law to establish non-religious belief ceremonies. This would allow a third type of legal ceremony, alongside religious and civil ceremonies, for getting married in England and Wales.

Section 14 defines a belief organisation as ‘an organisation whose principal or sole purpose is the advancement of a system of non-religious beliefs which relate to morality or ethics’.

The consultation also seeks views on

  • which non-religious belief organisations are capable of meeting the definition
  • where, if allowed, such marriages would take place
  • the provision of safeguards to deal with any resulting risks
  • the equality impacts. 

There is further discussion of these announcements, and some others, at Law & Religion UK in Same sex marriage and civil partnership: update.

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Concerned AnglicanFather Ron SmithJeremy PembertonMalcolm MacourtGary Paul Gilbert Recent comment authors
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Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Ah!
Not what I had hoped on any front!

JCF
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JCF

Am really happy for married transgender people. TBTG!

Susan Cooper
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Susan Cooper

What sort of beliefs are non-religious? Jedi?

Father David
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Father David

So Sajid Javid with all this emphasis upon equality, why cannot heterosexual couples enter into a Civil Partnership if they so desire?

Gary Paul Gilbert
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Gary Paul Gilbert

Civil partnerships restricted only to same-sex couples are still a form of discrimination. The right to marry is for everybody, including transgendered individuals.

If civil partnerships are not opened to sex-discordant couples seeking a different level of commitment, then they should be abolished as soon as possible. Civil partnerships allow the Church of England to claim it is not homophobic because, while it denounces marriage equality, it allows, in some cases, for civil partnerships.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Malcolm Macourt
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Malcolm Macourt

We were promised – were we not – a statement on the future of pensions in (same-sex) marriages. There is no sign of it. Is there any point in transferring from a Civil Partnership to a (same-sex) marriage if there is no equality between (opposite-sex) marriage and (same-sex) marriage on pensions?

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

The Church of England Pensions Board sent me a nice letter congratulating us on our marriage. They assured me that, marriage being marriage, that Laurence would get the same rights as any widow in relation to my pension.

Father Ron Smith
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Good News indeed for you and Lawrence, Jeremy.

I wonder if we could not co-opt the staff of the Pensions Board onto the Faith and Order Commission? They seem to have quickly discerned the more just theology of Marriage.

Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

Conversion of civil partnerships into marriage from 10th December. Whilst there are currently two clergy marriages one under censure and the other prospective censure there are many more civil partnerships.

I wonder how many will convert by the stoke of a pen (in the presence of a registrar) and cause lots of fluttering in the episcopal dovecotes about further disciplinary measures-most I imagine?

It’s going to be a very merry Christmas season.