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Perspectives on civil partnerships and marriages in England and Wales: aspects, attitudes and assessments

Date:17 JUN 2021
Third slide
Associate Fellow


This article considers the developments since the turn of the century in the provision of new options for same sex and opposite sex couples to formalise their unions with full legal recognition. The available statistical information on the take-up of same sex civil partnerships and marriages is analysed and evaluated and an early estimation made of their dissolutions and divorces. The possible implications of recent trends are considered and a personal appraisal made of prospects for the immediate future. To a lay person the sequence of introducing civil partnerships and same-sex marriage in England and Wales has been a curious if not puzzling progression perhaps only really understood by the initial opposition to (same sex) civil partnerships and in particular that they should not be accorded equivalence to marriage. The whole story[1] is also simultaneously one of developing pressure firstly for the availability of a legal union for same sex couples and then for greater freedom of choice and for equal status. The latter was only achieved for civil partnerships[2] after much...

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