The Civil Partnerships Act provides the same legal benefits and responsibilities for same-sex and heterosexual couples as marriage. The procedure for setting up a partnership mirrors that for a civil marriage.
If you are in a same-sex couple you can:
- register your partnership (Civil Partnerships Act 2005)
- register your marriage (from 29 March 2014)
- convert your civil partnership to a marriage (civil partnerships that took place up to 29 March 2014)
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 states that a civil partnership ceremony must be an entirely secular ceremony, with no religious content, wording or music. However you can arrange a separate religious blessing ceremony after the formation ceremony, in a separate venue. This is a matter between you and the religious celebrant.
Giving notice of civil partnership
You will be required to provide a notice of civil partnership prior to your partnership being formed in the UK. This is a legal declaration which must be completed by you and your partner. When the notice is submitted, the details are displayed on the public notice board at the register office where the notice was given, for a period of 28 days. View more information on giving notice of civil partnerships.