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Same-sex marriage for all

Published: 2 Nov 2015 00:01

Civil partners registered elsewhere can now marry in Scotland.

Couples who have a civil partnership registered abroad or elsewhere in the UK can now marry in Scotland, thanks to an extension to existing legislation.

From Monday November 2, civil partners registered outside Scotland will be able to change their relationship to a marriage by having a ceremony here. Previously, the legislation meant only civil partnerships registered in Scotland could be changed.

Scotland demonstrated that same sex relationships are just as valid as mixed sex relationships when it passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 in 2014. More than 1,000 same sex couples have now married in Scotland

Local Government Minister Marco Biagi said: "We are sending a powerful message out about the kind of country we are – one which is incredibly proud that same sex couples can show their love and commitment to each other by getting married.

"By passing historic legislation last year, and now extending it to include those who had a civil partnership outwith Scotland , we are demonstrating to the world how importantly Scotland views equality."

Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, said: "We very much welcome this change, which is a small but important piece of unfinished business from the equal marriage legislation last year.

"Without this, same-sex couples living in Scotland who have registered a civil partnership outwith Scotland would be unable to marry in Scotland unless they live apart for a year first to dissolve their civil partnership. That's obviously not an option for most couples, and now they will be able to marry in the usual way, changing their civil partnership directly to a marriage.

"The number of couples in this situation is relatively small, but the value of the change to them is huge."

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the future of civil partnerships in Scotland It closes on Tuesday 15 December at 5PM and can be accessed at

There is no obligation on couples to change their civil partnership into a marriage. It is entirely a decision for couples themselves.

Notes to editors

1. The Scottish Government has prepared guidance for couples in a civil partnership registered outwith Scotland who are considering changing their civil partnership into marriage in Scotland. This guidance is at

2. Under the arrangements, couples in a civil partnership registered outwith Scotland who wish to get married give notice of intention to marry, in the same way as other couples intending to marry.

3. Couples in a civil partnership registered overseas by the UK armed forces or the UK diplomatic service were already able to change their civil partnership into marriage in Scotland so long as the couple elected Scotland as the relevant part of the UK and details of their civil partnership were sent to the National Records of Scotland. This is because these civil partnerships are treated as having been registered in Scotland.

4. Information on the number of marriages and civil partnerships which take place in Scotland is available on National Records of Scotland's website: