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Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

Territorial extent and application


17.The Act provides for marriage of same sex couples to be lawful in England and Wales only. Marriage is an area which is a devolved matter for Scotland, meaning that it is something which is within the legislative powers of the Scottish Parliament. The Act would have certain effects in Scotland, however. It allows for the consequential amendment to legislation in Scotland, as a result of marriage for same sex couples coming into force in England and Wales. If this happens before such time as marriage of same sex couples is lawful in Scotland, the Act contains a power to secure that a marriage of a same sex couple entered into in England and Wales is treated as a civil partnership in Scotland. The provision which the Act makes about consular marriage and marriage on armed forces bases overseas also involves amendment of the law in Scotland. There are also amendments to the law in Scotland as it relates to re-issuing and correcting errors in gender recognition certificates and fraud proceedings under the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Consequential provision of the law in Scotland may also be made as a result of those changes. The statutory review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes will extend to Scotland, as well as to England and Wales, and any subsequent order may amend Scottish legislation.

18.This Act contains provisions that triggered the Sewel Convention. The provisions relate to the power for the Secretary of State to make an order for a marriage of a same sex couple solemnized in England and Wales to be treated as a civil partnership under the law of Scotland; the power for the Secretary of State to make consequential amendments to the law of Scotland in devolved areas; the power for the Queen to make Orders in Council about how UK consulates overseas carry out marriages and how marriage can take place on armed forces bases overseas insofar as this affects the law of Scotland. The Sewel Convention provides that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament agreed a Legislative Consent Motion in these terms on 11 June 2013. In making any order or regulations under the Act which contain provision that would otherwise be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, the Secretary of State or Lord Chancellor will first have to obtain the consent of the Scottish Ministers.

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