Equality and Diversity

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Information and advice on marriage/same sex marriage and civil partnership, one of the 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act where discrimination is unlawful.

Marriage, same sex marriage and civil partnership:
  • Marriage includes a union between a man and a woman or a same-sex couple.
  • A married person is a person who is legally married in accordance with the Marriage Act 1949.
  • A Civil Partner is someone who has been registered as a civil partner under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Same-sex couples can  still have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships' if they do not with to marry. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. Currently, existing civil partnerships can remain and there will be no obligation on existing civil partners to change their relationship into a marriage if they do not wish to do so. However, the Government does intend to consult on the future of civil partnerships in due course.