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Equal civil marriage consultation

This consultation sets out the government's proposals to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage.

The key proposals of the consultation are:

  • to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)
  • to make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
  • to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
  • civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
  • individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage

Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, but not civil marriage.

The full details of the consultation are included in the pdf version of the consultation document, which is available to download below.

Respond online

Please send us your comments by using our online form.

The consultation closes on 14 June 2012.

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Consultation information

  • Intended audience:
    • members of the public - particularly those currently in a marriage or civil partnership or those wishing to legally register their relationship in future
    • lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisations
    • religious organisations
    • local authorities, including registrars who are responsible for conducting civil marriage ceremonies
    • organisations with an interest in families and relationships
    • comments from all other interested parties are also welcome
  • Reference number: Equal civil marriage consultation
  • Issued: 15 Mar 2012
  • Opening date: 15 Mar 2012
  • Closing date: 14 Jun 2012

How to respond

Respond online

Please send us your comments by using our online form.

Please send your response to...

Equal civil marriage consultation responses

Government Equalities Office
3rd Floor Fry
2 Marsham Street
London, SW1P 4DF

Email: equalcivilmarriage@geo.gsi.gov.uk

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