Tory Equalities Minister: Final decision not yet made on future of civil partnerships

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Equalities Minister Sajid Javid has said the final decision about the future of civil partnerships is yet to be made.

Following the introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales, the government launched a consultation looking at the future of civil partnerships, which ended in April.

There are several possible outcomes. Some wish for civil partnerships to be opened up to opposite-sex couples, in order to give the option of civil partnerships or marriage to any couple.

Others have suggested that same-sex couples in civil partnerships could be automatically converted to marriage, and civil partnerships could be phased out altogether.

A third option of “grandfathering” the 2004 Civil Partnerships Act, which would mean that gay couples already in civil partnerships would remain so, but no civil partnerships would be issued in future.

However, Tory equalities minister Sajid Javid told Beyond Positive today that he is yet to make a decision.

He said: “This is an important issue, and as with any important issue the government should take in a wide range of issues and do a proper consultation – which we did.

“That consultant is now closed, we’re in the process going through all the responses we’ve had and those will inform us in terms of making a final decision. We’re aware of the strength of feeling on both sides – and we’ll announce our decision in due course.”

It was reported earlier this year that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are split over the future of civil partnerships, with Nick Clegg reportedly in favour opening them up to all couples, and David Cameron opposed.

Couples currently in a civil partnership will have the option to convert it to a marriage by the end of the year.