Same sex marriage

Implementation of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

On 17 July 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received Royal Assent. The main provisions of the act are that it will:

  • Allow same sex couples to marry in a civil ceremony
  • Allow same sex couples to marry in a religious ceremony where the religious organisation has "opted in" to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees
  • Enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish
  • Enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end

Further information regarding these points and any future updates including the government policies on creating a fairer and more equal society can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Stonewall, the gay and lesbian charity, also have a question and answer section, and a guide to marriage available on their website.

Arranging a same sex marriage

It was announced on 10 December 2013 that same sex couples who are free to marry may do so from Saturday 29 March 2014, with the notices of marriage being given on Thursday 13 March 2014.

Same sex couples who wish to marry in Salford may book a provisional day and time for a none refundable fee of £30, for a date on or after 29 March 2014. Please contact the register office if you wish to do so by telephoning 0161 793  2500.

Conversion of civil partnerships to marriages

The arrangements for allowing the conversion of civil partnerships to marriages, and allowing people who change their legal gender to remain in their marriages, involves developing new procedures and processes, including making legislative changes.

This provision came into effect on Wednesday 10 December 2014.

Couples will have the choice of:

  • a simple process at a register office or local registration service point (known as a single stage process)
  • a two-stage process where a Superintendent Registrar or Deputy Superintendent Registrar can complete a conversion at another venue which will allow the couple's family and friends to attend and a ceremony can follow immediately after.

Single stage process

  • The couple will need to attend in person, from 10 December 2014 onwards, at any local authority and will need to make an appointment with the superintendent registrar in the register office
  • Couples will need to provide evidence of their identity, the civil partnership registration, and proof of address 
  • The conversion will then take place when the couple sign a declaration to confirm that they have not dissolved their civil partnership and that they both wish to convert their civil partnership to a marriage
  • The declaration will be signed at the register office
  • There is no ceremony attached to the conversion and therefore the couple will not go through a marriage ceremony
  • The conversion will be registered and a certificate of conversion issued

There will be a statutory fee for the conversion. This will be £45. You will not need to pay if you registered your civil partnership before Saturday 29 March 2014 (before you had the opportunity to marry). This free conversion is available until Wednesday 9 December 2015. 

Two stage process

  • Couples will need to make an appointment with a Superintendent Registrar or Deputy Superintendent Registrar at any local authority to complete a declaration and identity check for the conversion
  • All couples will need to pay the application for conversion fee of £27
  • Couples will need to provide evidence of their identity, the civil partnership registration, and proof of address
  • The conversion process will then be completed at a venue of your choice at a later date
  • A ceremony may be arranged immediately after the conversion has been completed
  • Couples will need to pay a fee to the Local Authority for a celebratory ceremony and conversion
  • This fee will be reduced by £45 until 9 December 2015
  • Couples who wish to have a celebratory or none statutory ceremony after the conversion at Salford may choose from the Town Hall in the ceremony room, or at one of our approved venues.

To book an appointment for your civil partnership conversion please telephone 0161 793 2500.

A comparison between marriage and civil partnership including legal rights is available on the GOV.UK website.

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