beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

News

Consultation on civil partnership

Published: 22 Sep 2015 14:00

A consultation on the future of civil partnership in Scotland has been launched today.

Today's consultation follows the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, which introduced same sex marriage.

Options include no change, so civil partnerships remain available to same sex couples only, and making provision so no new civil partnerships could be entered into in future.

The Scottish Government has also considered the option of introducing opposite sex civil partnership but evidence suggests that demand would be low, there would be limited recognition of such partnerships outwith Scotland and there would be costs involved.

Existing civil partners will be able to remain in their civil partnership if they wish – there is no obligation to change a civil partnership to marriage.

This follows the publication of statistics on the number of marriages and civil partnerships, which shows the number of civil partnerships being entered into is continuing to fall.

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi said:

"This Government is immensely proud of introducing same sex marriage, which was a milestone in achieving equality in Scotland.

"During the Parliamentary passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 we said we would consider the future of civil partnerships, which is what our consultation now seeks to do.

"We remain open to hearing all views on the options set out in the consultation but, after careful consideration of this issue, we are not persuaded of the case for the establishment of opposite sex civil partnership in Scotland.

Figures published by National Records of Scotland show:

  • In Quarter 2 of 2015, there were 8 civil partnerships, 121 fewer than during the second quarter of 2014.
  • In Quarter 2 of 2015, there were 7,760 opposite sex marriages.
  • In Quarter 2 of 2015, there were 427 same sex marriages (236 of these were changes from civil partnership to marriage and 191 were new marriages)
  • In Quarter 1 of 2015, there were 20 civil partnerships, 57 fewer than during the first quarter of 2014.
  • In Quarter 1 of 2015, there were 3,427 opposite sex marriages
  • In Quarter 1 of 2015, there were 462 same sex marriages (334 of these were changes from civil partnership to marriage and 128 were new marriages)In 2014, there were 436 (same sex) civil partnerships (compared with 530 in 2013).
  • In 2014, there were 28,703 opposite sex marriages
  • In 2014, there were 367 same sex marriages (359 of these were changes from civil partnership to marriage and 8 were new marriages)

Notes to editors

The consultation, which runs until December 15 this year at 5PM, can be viewed at http://www.gov.scot/Consultations/Current

Statistics on the number of marriages and civil partnerships in Scotland are published by National Records of Scotland: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events

The consultation is part of the review looking at civil partnership in Scotland. Its remit can be viewed here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/law/17867/cpreview

Any Bill to make changes to the legislation on civil partnership is for the next Session of the Scottish Parliament.