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Government sets out next steps for opposite-sex civil partnerships

Consultation document includes right to convert from marriage to civil partnership

The government has published plans for extending civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples by the end of the year. The consultation will seek public opinion on giving opposite-sex couples an opportunity to convert their marriage into a civil partnership, and then bringing all conversion rights to an end. Providing a period for conversion will allow opposite-sex couples the opportunity to access the legal relationship that was not previously available to them.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, said:

"There are all sorts of reasons why people may choose not to marry, but for a long time it has been the only option for many wanting the legal security it provides.

"Last year the Prime Minister announced government would support the extension of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples. This is a fantastic step, providing an alternative to marriage for these couples.

"We must now consider those who didn't haven't had this as an option previously, that's why we're consulting on whether opposite-sex married couples can convert their marriages to civil partnerships."

The consultation will run for six weeks until 20 August and will inform how government legislates.

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper dealing with the extension of eligibility to register a civil partnership to opposite sex couples. It takes account of the government's latest proposals. For the briefing, click here.

For the consultation document, click here.