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Consultation on mixed-sex civil partnership

The Scottish Government has recently launched a consultation on mixed-sex civil partnerships following a Supreme Court ruling and an upcoming change to the law in England and Wales. 

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a heterosexual couple seeking a civil partnership. Following this decision, Theresa May has announced the law will change in England and Wales to comply with the court's decision.

Given that matters relating to civil partnership are devolved and that the facts and circumstances relating to civil partnership are very similar in Scotland to England and Wales, Scottish Ministers have concluded that legislation is needed to deal with the incompatibility identified by the Supreme Court.

Options of the consultation:

The consultation, which closes on the 21st December 2018, outlines two possibilities:

  • The first option would be that no new civil partnerships could be entered into in Scotland from a date set in the future. Existing civil partners could remain in their civil partnership if they wish and would continue to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as they do now.
  • The second option would be the introduction of mixed-sex civil partnership. Opposite-sex civil partnership would be along the same lines as same-sex civil partnership.


The key objective of this consultation is to gather qualitative information on the arguments made for and against each of the two options for the future of civil partnerships. Along with other available information, this will be used to inform the approach to the future of civil partnership.

You can respond to the consultation here.

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To find out more about our specialist family law services and how our expert family law solicitors can help you, contact us via the online enquiry form.

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