The government has submitted new legislation to Parliament which will allow the conversion of civil partnerships into marriage.
Civil partners will be able to convert their unions into marriage from December 10 this year.
The newly revised legislation follows criticism of the government’s conversion plans earlier in the year. Campaigners claimed the process then envisioned was too bureaucratic and did not allow for a ceremony which could be attended by family and friends.
Same sex couples will now be able to choose between a simple event at a registry or local authority office or a two stage process in which a registrar conducts the conversion at a different venue and a celebration or ceremony is then be held immediately afterwards. Available premises for the latter option include hotels and registered religious premises.
Conservative MP Nick Boles is the Minister for Skills and Equalities. He said:
“This puts couples in control. They have the choice of whether they would like a simple conversion or would prefer to celebrate the occasion with a ceremony.”
The ability to convert existing civil partnerships was included in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.