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Government consultation on the future of civil partnership

During the autumn of 2015, the Scottish Government consulted the public on the future of civil partnership, now that same-sex marriage is available.

The consultation ended at 5pm on Tuesday 15th December 2015.

The Scottish Government are expected to publish an analysis of consultation responses received, possibly in March 2016.

The Government’s consultation was about three different options:

Option 1: No change – civil partnership will continue to be available, but only to same-sex couples, not to mixed-sex couples. Same-sex couples would continue to have a choice between marriage and civil partnership (which have almost identical legal effects), but only marriage would be available to mixed-sex couples.

Option 2: No new civil partnerships after a certain date. Existing civil partnerships would continue to be recognised by the law, but after a certain date, only marriage would be available, both to same-sex and mixed-sex couples.

Option 3: Open up civil partnership to mixed-sex couples, so that both marriage and civil partnership are available as choices to all couples regardless of their genders.

The Scottish Government say they think there are insufficient reasons to introduce option 3, but they asked for people’s views on that. The Equality Network strongly supports option 3: we think that it is the only option that removes sexual orientation discrimination from the law, while giving the maximum choice to all couples.

You can read the Equality Network’s response to the consultation here.

 

The consultation (now closed)

After you enter your contact details, there are six main questions, but you don’t need to answer them all. (The contact details section asks for a “Title” – if you don’t want to give one, just enter a space or full stop!)

Questions 1 and 2 are about your views on option 1 (no change: civil partnership continues for same-sex couples only) – you can read the Scottish Government’s views on this option here

Questions 3 and 4 are about your views on option 2 (no new civil partnerships after a certain date) – you can read the Scottish Government’s views on this option here

Question 5 is about your views on option 3 (opening up civil partnership to mixed-sex couples so that it is equally available to all) – you can read the Scottish Government’s views on this option here

Question 6 is about some of the technical details in the consultation paper

So for example if you support option 3 – opening up civil partnership to all couples regardless of gender – then please say why in your answer to question 5. You don’t need to answer other questions if you don’t want to.

The Scottish Government are particularly interested in hearing why you feel the way you do. For example, why is it important to you that civil partnership is opened up to mixed-sex couples? Might you or someone you know want to register a mixed-sex civil partnership in future, and if so, why civil partnership and not marriage?

If you want to read the full consultation paper (you don’t need to!) it is here as html and it is here as a pdf.

 The consultation closed at 5pm on Tuesday 15th December 2015.

The Scottish Government are expected to publish an analysis of consultation responses received, possibly in March 2016.