The Scottish Government have launched a consultation on the future of civil partnership in Scotland, in light of a recent UK Supreme Court decision. They are seeking views from the public on two options: the closure of civil partnership to new relationships from a specific date in the future, and the broadening of civil partnership to make it available to opposite sex couples. The deadline is 21 December 2018.
The UK Supreme Court has found that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, as it does not permit an opposite sex couple to enter into a civil partnership. The Scottish Ministers must not act in a way that contravenes Convention Rights, and civil status is a devolved matter – therefore the government is consulting on two options for changing the law.
The options being considered are:
- This option does not involve civil partnerships in Scotland being abolished. Rather, from a given date in the future, no more new civil partnerships in Scotland could be entered into. Under the 2004 Act, the minimum notice period for civil partnership is a clear 28 days.
- Civil partnership being made available to opposite sex couples.The Scottish Government considers that opposite sex civil partnerships would be formed and dissolved in the same way as same sex civil partnerships, and that the rights and responsibilities of opposite sex civil partners would generally be the same as for same sex civil partners.