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Future of civil partnership delivery

Published: 28 Sep 2018 10:00

Consultation on options to increase equality.

A consultation is seeking views on the future of civil partnership in Scotland.

It follows a recent decision by the UK Supreme Court that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as it does not allow opposite sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.

The consultation outlines two options:

  • No new civil partnerships could be entered into in Scotland. Existing civil partners could remain in their civil partnership and their rights would remain unchanged.
  • Opening civil partnership to opposite sex couples. This would be placed on the same footing as same sex civil partnership.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“This is very simply about ensuring equality. The Supreme Court made it clear that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, because civil partnership is open to same sex couples only whereas marriage is open to everyone.

“That judgment related to England and Wales but the facts and circumstances in Scotland are very similar. Therefore we must now consult on the future of civil partnership in Scotland and I would urge anyone with an interest in this area to take part.”

Background

The consultation will run until 21 December 2018.

The Scottish Government will then take a swift decision to ensure future compatibility with the ECHR.