SB 14-33 Marriage of same sex couples across the UK: What’s the same and what’s different?

Legislation in England and Wales (the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013) and in Scotland (the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014) introduces marriage for same sex couples. The legislation will also enable civil partners to convert their civil partnership into marriage, and transsexual people to change their legal gender without necessarily having to end their existing marriage.

There is no legislation to allow marriage of same sex couples in Northern Ireland and, in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against private members’ motions to allow such marriages.

The two Acts, which are not yet fully implemented, are similar in many respects but also include provisions which are different from one another. This paper provides information about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of same sex couples and the legislation which provides for it, as well as about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of opposite sex couples and civil partnership across the UK. 

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Published: 15 May 2014