Couples converting from civil partnerships will get backdated marriage certificates

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The government has confirmed that backdated marriage certificates will be issued to couples converting their civil partnerships to marriages.

Regulations for the conversion of civil partnerships to marriages in England and Wales were withdrawn in July, following a backlash from some couples at the form of the process.

The Government Equalities Office has this week confirmed that a full, backdated marriage certificate will be issued to couples – and not a ‘certificate of conversion’ as previously speculated.

A GEO spokesperson said: “It has always been the Government’s intention that a marriage certificate will be issued.

“The design of the certificate has been developed in discussion with the LGBT Consortium and Stonewall and it will be almost identical to a marriage certificate issued without a conversion, but there will be a few necessary differences.

“For example, to ensure that there is no doubt that the marriage is to be treated as having subsisted since the date the original civil partnership was formed, as required by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, the marriage certificate will show the ‘when married’ date as the date the original civil partnership was formed.

“The certificate will also show the date the conversion took place.

“This will ensure that there is no confusion over why the ‘when married’ date could be earlier than the first date it became legal for same sex couples to marry in England and Wales.”

Couples in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnerships to marriages at registry offices from December 10.