Until recently, same sex couples from across the country have been unable to join together in Civil Partnerships. However, in 2005, everything changed.
December 5th 2005 was a momentous day for gay UK couples when a new Parliamentary Law (the Civil Partnership Act of 2004) came into effect allowing homosexual partners from across the nation to join in union via a Civil Partnership Ceremony.
Partnership Ceremonies were unheard of anywhere in the world prior to 1989 before the liberal Danes became the first nation to grant homosexual couples similar right to those of the heterosexual counterparts when they introduced the ‘Partnership Law’. Since then, numerous countries across the globe have brought in similar laws and from Norway to New Zealand gay couples can now enter Civil Partnerships.
The rules that apply to same sex couples when undertaking Civil Partnerships are virtually identical to those rules that apply to heterosexual couples when they undertake a Civil Wedding. The four basic principles that must be adhered to are:
Neither partner can already be lawfully married or a civil partner.
Each partner is at least 16 years of age (parental approval is required for those under 18 in England and Wales).
The partners are not within the prohibited degrees of relationship.
The partners must be both of the same sex (obviosuly this is quite a big difference to those holding a civil wedding!)
Assuming these basic criteria are met, then couples will be free to enter into Civil Partnerships and begin thinking about their Civil Partnership Ceremony.
The elements of a full Civil Partnership Ceremony are much the same as any civil wedding, and organising one is likewise. A couple will need to arranage their big day via a Register Office and consider such aspects as vows, readings, music, songs and, of course, the venue.
From the intracacies of arranging a Civil Partership to the running order of a typical ceremony, to Across our site we have various articles dedicated to each aspect of planning Civil Partnerships, whilst our Civil Partnership faq's provide additional help and advice.
For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding ceremony articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with loads of civil wedding venues, decorations, florists and more.