Scottish Parliament introduces Civil Partnership Bill

The Scottish Parliament has introduced a bill extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples north of the border.

The move follows last year’s Supreme Court ruling that the exclusion of heterosexual couples from the civil partnership option had become incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights since the introduction of same sex marriage. This had resulted in same sex couples having the choice of traditional marriage or a civil partnership, while their opposite sex counterparts were limited to marriage.

The Scottish government conducted a public consultation on the matter last year, asking whether the abolition or extension of civil partnerships was the better option.

Civil partnership was introduced across the UK in December 2005 by the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Nine years later, same sex marriage followed in England, Wales and Scotland following the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and its counterpart, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.

Westminster has announced plans to extend civil partnership to opposite sex couples across England and Wales by the end of this year.

Read last year’s Supreme Court ruling here.

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