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Civil partnerships to be extended to all 09/07/2019 The Scottish Government has announced that mixed sex couples will be able to enter into a civil partnership under proposals to bring equality to legally recognised relationships.

Civil partnerships to be extended to all

The Scottish Government announced late last month that mixed sex couples will be able to enter into a civil partnership under proposals to bring equality to legally recognised relationships.

A bill being introduced to the Scottish Parliament in the autumn will ensure mixed sex couples and same sex couples have the same choices of marriage or civil partnership.

The decision follows a ruling in the UK Supreme Court last year. The ruling declared that the UK Civil Partnership Act 2004 was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights on equality grounds, as it prevents mixed sex couples from entering into civil partnerships.

The Scottish Government consulted on the future of civil partnership in Scotland, asking for views on the pros and cons of two options for change: scrapping civil partnership, or making it available to mixed sex couples.

Following careful consideration of the comments made by consultees, the Scottish Government has decided that making civil partnerships available to all would be the best way to remove the ECHR incompatibility from the law in Scotland.

“Extending civil partnerships to mixed sex couples gives equality and choice to all,” said Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville. “All couples will now have the option of a civil partnership or marriage which is a ground breaking change for Scotland. We will be providing people with the option to enter into a legally recognised relationship which reflects their personal views.”

Other countries where mixed sex civil partnership has been introduced include the Netherlands and New Zealand, and the UK Government has announced that it will make mixed sex civil partnership available in England and Wales by the end of this year.
 

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