New rules on the conversion of existing civil partnerships into same sex marriage have been approved by the House of Lords.
In October the government introduced revised regulations on conversion. These now allow couples to mark the occasion with a ceremony conducted by a registrar which can be attended by their family and friends.
Previously the rules only allowed conversion at a registry or local government office, attracting criticism from campaigners who said the plans were restrictive and inflexible. Couples will be now able to choose either option.
Peers praised the revised regulations, the Evening Standard reports. Baroness Thornton told the House:
“We have in passing these further measures the privilege of creating more happiness for those who wish to convert from civil partnerships to marriage and crucially celebrate this in the way they choose.”
Fellow peer Lord Collins of Highbury also welcomed the changes, saying he now planned to convert his own civil partnership into a marriage with an accompanying ceremony on December 20.
“I’m really glad that all my friends and family will be there to see it,” he added.