Same-sex couples who convert their civil partnerships will receive back-dated marriage certificates, the government has confirmed.
These new certificates will be “almost identical” to standard marriage certificates. However, a spokesperson for the Government Equalities Office (GEO) said there would be “a few necessary differences”.
The date the civil partnership began will be listed as the start of the marriage but the certificates will also include the date of conversion. This is to avoid potential confusion as “the ‘when married’ date could be earlier than the first date it became legal for same sex couples to marry in England and Wales”.
There had initially been speculation that such couples would receive a ‘certificate of conversion’, but the GEO spokesperson said it had “always been the Government’s intention that a marriage certificate will be issued”.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 made gay marriage legal in England and Wales but couples in a civil partnership cannot convert their relationships into marriages yet. The first date this will be available is December 10th.
Back in August, campaigners put together a petition to change the rules of civil partnership conversion. They claimed the process which takes place in a registrar’s office had “no heart” as it did not allow for a ceremony.