January 15, 2016

Majority of England and Wales’s same-sex marriages are converted civil partnerships

The figure is double the amount of same-sex couples who married without already having had their relationship formally recognised in a civil partnership.

It has also been highlighted that, in contrast to the surge of couples registering a civil partnership after the legislation was implemented in 2005, there was no such trend for when marriage legislation for same-sex couples came into effect.

Same-sex marriage became legal in March 2014, but John Haskey has stated that the numbers choosing it as an option have shown a “slow start”.

The researcher added: “It was civil partnerships which were the more important breakthrough for same-sex couples, rather than same-sex marriages, at least from a numerical point of view.

“Couples may have seen no need to hurry, if at all, to avail themselves of same-sex marriage, especially if they had already formed a civil partnership.”

Next week, on 19th January, the High Court will hear a case from Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, a couple who wish to obtain a civil partnership, and the decision will have an impact on the type of formal unions open to other heterosexual couples.

Mr Keidan said: “We’ve just had a baby and we want to cement and celebrate our relationship by forming a civil partnership.

“We were both involved in the fight for same-sex marriage within our community, and it is fantastic social progress that couples can now marry, regardless of sexual orientation.

“We, however, want to raise our child as equal partners and believe that a civil partnership – a modern, symmetrical institution – best reflects our beliefs, and sets the best example for her. Sadly, for reasons that remain unclear, the government has taken a different view.”

Almost 33,000 people have signed a petition asking Westminster to allow civil partnerships for all couples, irrespective of their gender.

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