Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill call for views

The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRiC) is seeking views on the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

Please note that in most cases your written submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website and may be quoted in the Committee’s report or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast).

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact us ([email protected] or 0131 348 86699).

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal information.

Background

The Bill follows a UK Supreme Court judgment which found the existing law was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. This was because different sex couples could not enter into a civil partnership, while same sex couples had the choice of either marriage or civil partnership.

Following the ruling, the Scottish Government consulted on the future of civil partnership. Its consultation considered two options for change: closing civil partnership to new relationships, or making them open to different sex couples.

Remit

The purpose of this Bill is to enable different sex couples to have a civil partnership. To achieve this, the Bill amends the Civil Partnership Act 2004 . It also makes changes to other legislation including:  

  • consequential amendments to Scottish Family Law,
  • recognition of certain overseas relationships between different sex couples,
  • amendments to legislation concerning gender recognition,
  • creation of an offence of forcing someone into a civil partnership.

A copy of the Bill and accompanying documents can be found at:

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/112997.aspx

Questions

The Committee welcomes responses to the questions below. You do not need to answer all of these questions and can focus just on those that are relevant to or interest you. Please limit your response to no more than four sides of A4.

  1. What is your view of the Bill’s approach to achieving equality by making civil partnerships available to different sex couples, rather than closing future civil partnerships to all couples? 
  2. What will the impact of the Bill and its provisions be on you, your community or your organisation? Give consideration as to whether there is any impact on human rights or equality issues for any particular groups of people.
  3. The Bill will make consequential changes to existing legislation to carry through the effect of the main change. Do you have any comment to make on these changes?
  4. Is there anything else about civil partnerships that should be included in (or excluded from) the Bill? If so, what changes would you like to see and why? Please explain your reasons.
  5. Will the Bill result in any resource implications for your organisation or you as an individual? If so, please explain and provide any supporting information.

How to Submit your views

Your response does not need to cover all the areas specified and can just focus on those that are relevant to you or your organisation. You are also welcome to provide other information that you feel would be relevant.

The Committee welcomes responses to the questions below. You do not need to answer all of these questions and can focus just on those that are relevant to or interest you. Please limit your response to no more than four sides of A4.

The call for written views will close on FRIDAY 31 JANUARY 2019.

We would be grateful if you could keep your submission to a maximum of 4 sides of A4. Written responses should be sent electronicallyin Word format (not PDF) to the following address: [email protected].

We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit evidence. We also welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee. Please also note submissions with defamatory content, references to ongoing court cases or third parties’ personal information will not be published online.

If you cannot submit electronically you may send in a hard copy written submission to:

Equalities and Human Rights Committee
Room T2.60
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Please follow the Committee on Twitter (@SP_EHRiC) or email the Committee at [email protected] for more information.

The Committee intends to take evidence in late winter to early Spring 2020 and report to the Parliament thereafter.

 

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