Marriage and Civil Partnership

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

The marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales is lawful under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. 

The Act: 

• allows same sex couples to marry in religious ceremonies, where the religious organisation has ‘opted in’ to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees.
• protects religious organisations and their representatives who do not wish to conduct marriages of same sex couples from successful legal challenges 
• enables civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish
• enables married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage

The marriage of a same sex couple may only be solemnized in accordance with the following: 

(a) Part 3 of the Marriage Act 1949
(b) Part 5 of the Marriage Act 1949
(c) The Marriage (Registrar General’s Licence) Act 1970, or
(d) An Order in Council made under Part 1 or 3 of Schedule 6. 

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Page last modified 02 June 2014.

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