Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force on 13 March 2014.
Amongst other matters, the Act provides:
- That same sex marriage also comes under the protected characteristic “marriage and civil partnership” under the Equality Act 2010;
- That same sex marriages can take place by civil ceremony or under religious rites (but only where a religious organisation has opted into the Act’s provisions; the Church of England and Church in Wales are not included);
- That same sex marriages that took place abroad will be recognised in England and Wales.
It is expected that measures will be implemented before the end of the year to allow couples in a civil partnership the option of converting their partnership to a marriage.
Some of the issues that the Government still needs to resolve in respect of same sex marriages are pensions, the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act, and conduct of marriages by non-religious belief organisations.