Final vote on Civil Partnership equality?


The House of Commons is set to vote one last time on reforming Civil Partnerships tomorrow as the first item of business of the day.

The third reading of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages And Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill will not bring about change immediately, but if passed – as it looks certain to be – it will bring mixed-gender civil partnerships into law no later than 31st December.

Under section 3(1)(a) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other in England and Wales if they are not of the same sex. Equivalent restrictions apply to eligibility for registration in Scotland and Northern Ireland under section 86 and section 138 of the Act.  This new bill will overturn that restriction.

The bill has many other elements including conferring powers on the Secretary of State to enable them to reform the way in which marriages are registered in England and Wales, moving from a paper-based system to registration in an electronic register.