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Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 1: Marriage of related persons

6.This section makes a number of amendments to the 1977 Act, in relation to the “forbidden degrees”. Provision is made about the forbidden degrees in section 2 of, and Schedule 1 to, the 1977 Act. Section 2 of the 1977 Act makes various provisions about how the forbidden degrees are to operate and be interpreted. Some of these provisions refer at present to a husband and wife or make other indirect references to opposite sex marriage. Due to the introduction of same sex marriage, these provisions are amended by section 1 of the Act so that they can apply to opposite sex and same sex marriage. Section 1(2)(c) makes provision so that “spouse” means either a wife of a husband or a husband of a wife or a same sex spouse.

7.Section 1 introduces a new Schedule 1 to the 1977 Act, replacing the previous Schedule 1. Section 1(2)(d) deletes the word “former” from section 2(7) of the 1977 Act. The word “former” is not needed as the new Schedule 1 to the 1977 Act refers to “former spouse” and “spouse” is defined as outlined in paragraph 6 above. The new Schedule 1 is a simplified version of the previous table of forbidden degrees in the 1977 Act. No changes are made in respect of the types of relationships which mean that a couple cannot marry. Instead, the change relates to how the relationships are described. The table below demonstrates this:

Previous table (Column 1)Previous  table (Column 2)New table
Relationships by consanguinity
Father’s motherFather’s fatherGrandparent
Mother’s motherMother’s fatherGrandparent
Son’s daughterSon’s sonGrandchild
Daughter’s daughterDaughter’s sonGrandchild
Father’s sisterFather’s brotherAunt or uncle
Mother’s sisterMother’s brotherAunt or uncle
Brother’s daughterBrother’s sonNiece or nephew
Sister’s daughterSister’s sonNiece or nephew
Father’s father’s motherFather’s father’s fatherGreat-grandparent
Father’s mother’s motherFather’s mother’s fatherGreat-grandparent
Mother’s father’s motherMother’s mother’s fatherGreat-grandparent
Mother’s mother’s motherMother’s mother’s fatherGreat-grandparent
Son’s son’s daughterSon’s son’s sonGreat-grandchild
Son’s daughter’s daughterSon’s daughter’s sonGreat-grandchild
Daughter’s son daughterDaughter’s son’s sonGreat-grandchild
Daughter’s daughter’s daughterDaughter’s son sonGreat-grandchild
Relationships by affinity referred to in section 2(1A)
Daughter of former wifeSon of former husbandChild of former spouse
Daughter of former civil partnerSon of former civil partnerChild of former civil partner
Former wife of fatherFormer husband of motherFormer spouse of parent
Former civil partner of motherFormer civil partner of fatherFormer civil partner of parent
Former wife of father’s fatherFormer husband of father’s motherFormer spouse of grandparent
Former civil partner of mother’s motherFormer civil partner of mother’s fatherFormer civil partner of grandparent
Former wife of mother’s fatherFormer husband of mother’s motherFormer spouse of grandparent
Former civil partner of father’s motherFormer civil partner of father’s fatherFormer civil partner of grandparent
Daughter of son of former wifeSon of son of former husbandGrandchild of former spouse
Daughter of son of former civil partnerSon of son of former civil partnerGrandchild of former civil partner
Daughter of daughter of former wifeSon of daughter of former husbandGrandchild of former spouse
Daughter of daughter of former civil partnerSon of daughter of former civil partnerGrandchild of former civil partner
Relationships by adoption
Adoptive mother or former adoptive motherAdoptive father or former adoptive fatherAdoptive parent or former adoptive parent
Adopted daughter or former adopted daughterAdopted son or former adopted sonAdopted child or former adopted child

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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