From Monday, 2 November 2015, same-sex couples in civil partnerships registered outside Scotland will be able to have them converted to marriages in the country. Previously only civil partnerships registered in Scotland were able to be thus converted.
The implementation of this legislation is one more extremely progressive step of the devolved Scottish Government, following the implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into power. Since the Act became law, more than 1000 same-sex couples have married or had their civil partnerships turned into marriages in Scotland.
Local Government Minister of the Scottish National Party (SNP) administration, Marco Biagi MSP stated “We are sending a powerful message out about the kind of country we are – one which is incredibly proud that same-sex couples can show their love and commitment to each other by getting married.
“By passing historic legislation last year, and now extending it to include those who had a civil partnership outwith Scotland, we are demonstrating to the world how importantly Scotland views equality.”
The move has likewise been welcomed by Scottish LGBT+ charity Equality Network. Tim Hopkins, Director of Equality Network, stated “We very much welcome this change, which is a small but important piece of unfinished business from the equal marriage legislation last year.
“Without this, same-sex couples living in Scotland who have registered a civil partnership outwith Scotland would be unable to marry in Scotland unless they live apart for a year first to dissolve their civil partnership. That’s obviously not an option for most couples, and now they will be able to marry in the usual way, changing their civil partnership directly to a marriage.
“The number of couples in this situation is relatively small, but the value of the change to them is huge.”
There is currently no obligation upon same-sex couples in civil partnerships to change them to marriage in Scotland, and it remains a purely personal choice.