Equal civil marriage for all genders

28 March 2013

Carolyn Naughton

University of Bedfordshire:

The quest for equal marriage for same sex and opposite-sex couples started over 40 years ago and is hopefully nearing its concluding chapter. In February 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill started its course through Parliament. It aims to introduce an equal civil marriage regime for everyone through modifications to the current marriage regime. Whilst representing a welcome step in the direction of equality, the creation of an equal civil marriage regime is not without its problems, in particular insofar as some notions and concepts taken from the current (opposite-sex) marriage regime do not readily transpose to same-sex marriages. The present discussion focuses on two facets of the current marriage regime, namely consummation and adultery, which, at least as currently defined, are clearly not suitable to be mechanically transposed to same-sex couples.  The article discusses the government's proposal to retain the concept of consummation in relation to opposite-sex couples only, and to retain adultery, as currently defined, as a ground for divorce applicable to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The author concludes that the proposed approach will continue to create inequality and discrimination within the marriage regime and that the only viable way forward to ensure a truly equal marriage regime for all is to remove the concept of consummation and adultery altogether. 

The full version of this article appears in the April 2013 issue of Family Law.

Sponsor the Family Law Awards

Exhibiting at the Family Law Awards will allow you to position your organisation at the forefront of the legal market.

Click 'More Info' below to view a short film about our exhibition opportunities.

To discuss your requirements further please contact us on 0117 918 1419 or email ash_dickinson@jordanpublishing.co.uk

More Info »

Practice-plus-logo-final_with_boarder_75__image

Have you heard about this new service?

Family Law Practice Notes, Autodocs & Flow Charts

Stay at the cutting edge of legal practice and save time - request a call from an Account Manager to arrange and talk you through a trial.

More Info »