To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she has taken following the consultation on extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples; and what the findings of the consultation were.
2 December 2014
The report on the conclusions of the Civil Partnership Review (England and Wales) was published on 26 June 2014. Copies have been placed in the House Libraries.
A majority of respondents who expressed a view on them were opposed to each of the three main changes to civil partnership. There was therefore no united call for change from respondents to the consultation at this stage.
Of the over 10,000 online survey answers to each of the relevant questions:
• Less than a third of respondents supported abolition of civil partnership
• The majority were against closing civil partnership to new couples
• Over three-quarters were against opening up civil partnership to opposite sex couples.
Several important organisations thought it was too soon to consider making changes to civil partnership – this should wait until we know the impact of extending marriage to same sex couples. Other organisations, in contrast, put forward a case for opening up civil partnerships to opposite sex couples now, for example because civil partnership and marriage were different relationships and couples should have equal access to both.
Given the lack of consensus on the way forward, the Government will not be making any changes.