Opposite-sex couples will be able to register civil partnerships in England and Wales from 31 December 2019 after secondary legislation was approved in the House of Lords on 5 November 2019.
During the debate, the Minister of State for the Home Office, Baroness Williams said that the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 amends the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 so that, for now, only same-sex couples will be able to convert their civil partnerships to marriage, pending the outcome of our consultation on conversion rights, which closed on 20 August.
Baroness Williams added that it was intended to commence the regulations on 2 December, which would allow the first opposite-sex civil partnership to take place on 31 December, given the usual 28-day notice period.
Martin Loat, Chair of the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign, said: 'It has been a long journey through both the courts and parliament to get to this point. I'd like to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in the campaign – especially Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan whose eventual win at the Supreme Court led us to this place, Tim Loughton MP who tenaciously took this on as a Private Members Bill, Baroness Fiona Hodgson who led the Bill through the Lords and of course all the supporters whose own testimonies have played a real role in the campaign. We are all delighted and relieved that the start date of 31st December can be adhered to.'