We introduced the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament on 30 September 2019. This Bill will enable mixed sex couples to enter a civil partnership. This means that mixed sex and same sex couples will have the same choices of marriage or civil partnership.
Our decision to enable mixed sex couples to enter into a civil partnership follows a 2018 UK Supreme Court ruling. The ruling declared that the UK Civil Partnership Act 2004 was against the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because it prevents mixed sex couples from entering into civil partnerships.
Consultation on the future of civil partnership
Following the 2018 UK Supreme Court ruling, we consulted on the future of civil partnership in Scotland. This asked for views on two options for change: scrapping civil partnership or making it available to mixed sex couples.
Respondents told us they wanted mixed sex civil partnership to be introduced because it provides:
- an opportunity to enter into a legally recognised relationship
- greater rights and responsibilities for couples who don't want to marry
- equality of choice for all couples
We have published:
- analysis of responses to the civil partnership consultation
- the responses we have permission to publish
- our response to the consultation
Background to civil partnership
Civil partnership was introduced by the UK Civil Partnership Act 2004 for same sex couples. The Act extends across the UK and took effect from December 2005.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced marriage for same sex couples.
The National Records of Scotland publishes statistics on civil partnership in Scotland
The UK Supreme Court made a decision in June 2018 that the current law goes against the European Convention on Human Rights as it does not allow opposite sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.
We consulted on the issue in September 2018, putting forward two options:
- barring further partnerships
- opening civil partnerships up to opposite sex couples