Civil Partnership is the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. It is not 'marriage' in the religious sense of the word, but it gives lesbian and gay couples the same legal benefits as heterosexual married couples.
Click here to download 'Get Hitched! A Guide to Civil Partnerships.'
On 17 November 2004 the House of Lords voted to introduce the Civil Partnership Bill for same-sex couples. The key vote was won by 251 votes to 136. Adult same-sex couples who are not in an existing registered partnership or marriage, and are not closely related, are eligible to register their partnership. The Civil Partnership Act cameinto effect on 5th December 2005.
Same-sex couples can register their partnership in a similar service to that already enjoyed by heterosexual couples who choose to marry in a registery office service. In Cardiff, the City Council took the initiative to work with LGB people to develop a ceremony format.
It will be possible to hold civil partnership ceremonies in exactly the same venues as civil weddings, from registry offices to stately homes.
Same-sex couples will have the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. Among these rights are:
Same-sex partners are legally bound in the same way as married couples are, therefore, dissolving the partnership will follow a similar court-based procedure.
Click here to download Stonewall's guide to Civil Partnerships.
Click here for more information about Civil Partnerships.
'Gay marriage' - Civil Partnership is not a marriage in the religious sense. Some religious organisations use this term in a derogatory, almost mocking way.
'Homosexual: Considered by some in the LGB community to be a derogatory and offensive term. It originates from a medical definition when same-sex attraction/relationships were construed as mental illness. Use: gay, lesbian, gay man/woman, bisexual, bisexual man/woman or the acronym LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual).