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Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 8: Marriage between civil partners in qualifying civil partnerships

43.Section 8 makes provision allowing civil partners, if they are in a “qualifying civil partnership”, to change their civil partnership to a marriage.

44.A “qualifying civil partnership” is defined by the amendment made by subsection (3)(b), which inserts new subsections (6) and (7) into section 5 of the 1977 Act. To be a “qualifying civil partnership”, the civil partnership must have been registered in Scotland. In addition, the civil partnership must not have been dissolved, annulled or ended by death.

45.Subsection (3) also adds provisions to section 5 of the 1977 Act about civil partnerships registered at British consulates overseas and civil partnerships registered by British armed forces personnel.

46.Such civil partnerships are to be treated as having been registered in Scotland for the purposes of determining if they are a “qualifying civil partnership”, so long as:


the parties to the civil partnership elected Scotland as the relevant part of the United Kingdom when they entered into the civil partnership; and


details of the civil partnership have been sent to the Registrar General for Scotland.

47.Subsection (2) amends section 3 of the 1977 Act so that when a couple change their civil partnership to a marriage they have to provide to the district registrar an extract from the entry in the civil partnership register relating to the civil partnership.

48.Subsection (3)(a) amends section 5(4)(b) of the 1977 Act about legal impediments to marriage. The current impediment in section 5(4)(b) is that “one of the parties is, or both are, already married or in civil partnership”. Subsection (3)(a) amends this so that being in a “qualifying civil partnership” with each other is not a legal impediment to marriage.

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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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