On 23 January 2014, the Government published a consultation paper on the future of civil partnership in England and Wales.
The consultation seeks views on and evidence about civil partnership and its continuing role when all couples – whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex – are able to marry.
In the paper’s Ministerial Foreword, Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities writes:
Until now, same sex couples who wished to form a legal relationship could not marry but instead could form a civil partnership. There was no need to change civil partnership to achieve our goal of extending marriage to same sex couples. However, questions about the future of civil partnership were raised during the parliamentary passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Over time, the fact that same sex couples can now marry will clearly affect the future of civil partnership. It is right, therefore, to start a review of the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. We are doing so by launching this consultation to seek people’s views on the main options for any future changes.
These measures are not Government policy proposals – they are ideas for changing civil partnership which others have suggested. We will carefully consider responses alongside other evidence in deciding the future of civil partnership in England and Wales.
The closing date for responses was 17 April 2014.