Civil Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriage: LGBT History Month
Marriage has been taking place around the world for hundreds of years.
Did you know the Marriage Act 1753 was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage? This meant all marriage ceremonies must be conducted by a minister in a parish church or chapel of the Church of England to be legally binding.
But what about same-sex partnerships?
Well, there was no legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the UK until 2004, when the Civil Partnership Act was introduced. Civil partnerships are a separate union which give most (but not all) of the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage. There are recognition issues in other countries.
Read on to find out more about the history of civil partnerships and same-sex marriage in the UK.
Civil Partnerships And Same-Sex Marriage Timeline
1949 The Marriage Act was passed, defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
1971 The Nullity of Marriage Act was passed, explicitly banning same-sex marriages between same-sex couples in England and Wales.
1988 Denmark becomes the first country in the world to give legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
2003 Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, both British university professors, legally marry in Canada. On their return, their same-sex marriage is not recognised under British law.
2004 The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is passed, granting civil partnership in the United Kingdom. The Act gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
2005 Christopher Cramp and Matthew Roche become the first couple to complete a Civil Partnership in the UK. Mr Roche died of terminal cancer the following day.
2011 An amendment to the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, tabled by Lord Waheed Alli, permits the celebration of civil partnerships in religious buildings in the UK.
2013 Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act is passed in England and Wales.
2014 The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 officially comes into force, with the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales taking place on 29 March 2014.
2014 Scottish Government passes legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Scotland.
2015 The US legalises same-sex marriage.
2015 Ireland votes by a huge majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by a referendum.
2016 The Isle of Man legalises same-sex marriage.
2019 Northern Ireland passes legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Northern Ireland.
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