News

Civil partnerships for all couples

Published: 30 Jun 2021 00:01

Equality of choice as landmark legislation takes effect.

Couples across Scotland will be able to enter mixed-sex civil partnerships from June 30, and can submit a notice of intention now.

The introduction of mixed sex civil partnerships means that both mixed sex and same sex couples can now choose to marry or enter a civil partnership. 

Minister for Equalities Christina McKelvie said:

“I welcome the introduction of civil partnerships for all couples.

“We have now embedded equality of choice on how to formalise their relationship in the way that best reflects their beliefs and ensures access to the rights, responsibilities and benefits which flow from entering a legally recognised relationship.  

“This ground-breaking change in law demonstrates our commitment to creating a fairer and more inclusive society for all.

“I wish good luck to all couples who are entering  Scotland’s  first mixed-sex civil partnerships.”

Background

The public health restrictions which apply to marriages and same sex civil partnerships also apply to mixed sex civil partnerships. The Scottish Government website contains up-to-date information about these restrictions 

The Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2020 introduced mixed sex civil partnership in Scotland.  The 2020 Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 23rd June 2020 and received Royal Assent on 28th July 2020.

Regulations commencing provisions of the 2020 Act have been made. Following these regulations, couples have been able to submit notice of intention to enter a mixed sex civil partnership in Scotland from 1 June 2021.

In line with usual practice for marriage and civil partnership, the is a requirement for a clear 28-day notice period.  This means first mixed sex civil partnerships can be entered into from 30 June 2021. The Registrar General has the discretion to waive this requirement where there is a pressing need (for example, if someone is seriously ill or is being posted overseas in the armed forces).