Scotland: Civil partners can convert to marriages from tomorrow

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Civil partners in Scotland will be able to convert to marriages from tomorrow, while unwed couples will be able to register their intent to marry.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act comes into effect from tomorrow – after the law was overwhelmingly passed by Parliament in February this year.

However, the country enforces a usual 15-day notice period on all new weddings, meaning the first ‘new’ same-sex weddings will not take place until December 31.

The notice period will not apply for couples who are already in Scottish civil partnerships – who can begin marrying tomorrow.

The law also brings in changes for gender recognition – meaning transgender people will no longer have to get divorced in order to obtain a Gener Recognition Certificate – and marriages from overseas will also begin to be formally recognised from tomorrow.

Same-sex marriage is already legal in England and Wales, where couples in civil partnerships were just last week able to convert for the first time.

Scottish Minister for Local Government Marco Biagi signed the law into effect this afternoon, saying: “Just signed law to allow first same-sex marriages to come into effect tomorrow. It’s been a journey. #equalmarriage

“From tomorrow Scottish couples already in civil partnerships will be able to change them to marriages. Everyone else on the 31st.”

Stonewall Scotland tweeted: “One day to go till couples can convert their civil partnership to marriage in Scotland. Exciting! #equalmarriage”