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Couple petition minister over civil partnership conversion regulations

Dissatisfaction expressed at the bureaucratic nature of the ceremony

A Devon couple have presented to the Minister for Equalities a petition with 40,000 signatures requesting a change to the regulations governing the conversion of civil partnerships into same-sex marriages. 

From 10th December 2014 couples will be able to convert their civil partnership into marriage. However, the draft Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Conversion of Civil Partnership) Regulations 2014 do not allow for a formal ceremony but provide that a declaration should be signed by the couple in the presence of a superintendent registrar. This can, apparently, take place only during normal business hours Monday to Friday. 

The couple, Jakki and Sheila Livesey-van Dorst, reported that the Minister, Nick Boles, had "listened well" to their views. Mr Boles assured them that the proposed certificate will be a marriage certificate and not a "certificate of conversion".

The Government spokesperson is quoted by the North Devon Journal as saying:

"We have listened to a range of views on the conversion process and we are looking again at the draft regulations."

The report in the North Devon Journal is here.