The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 came into effect on 16th December 2014.
From that date:
- Same-sex couples (from anywhere in the world) can submit notice to marry in a civil, religious or belief ceremony in Scotland. There is a minimum 15 day notice period, meaning that the first marriage ceremonies will take place on 31st December. People from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland will usually need to apply for a marriage visitor visa.
- Couples who are in a civil partnership registered in Scotland can change it to a marriage, either by submitting notice to marry in the usual way, with a civil, religious or belief ceremony, or through a simple administrative procedure at any registration office.
- People who wish to get gender recognition, and are in a marriage or civil partnership registered in Scotland can do so without having to end their marriage or civil partnership.
- Couples in a same-sex marriage registered in another country are recognised as married in Scotland.
For more details on all of this, please see our Marriage and Civil Partnership in Scotland guide.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 4th February 2014 by an overwhelming majority of 105 votes to 18. In March it received Royal Assent, and the Scottish Government then spent several months working on the detail of the necessary secondary legislation required to bring the new law into force on 16th December.