UK, England/Wales: Why It Will Take a Year to Implement Marriage Equality

Written by scott on July 19th, 2013

LondonEver since the UK passed the marriage equality bill earlier this week, we’ve been asking why same sex couples will have to wait another year to marry. Now Gay Star News has an answer:

‘Work is already underway and there is a lot to be done across government to ensure that all couples who want to get married; or convert their civil partnership to a marriage; or remain in their existing marriages when they change their legal gender, can do so,’ a spokeswoman said. The changes the DCMS will be implementing include the court rules, IT systems, the processes for civil registrations, religious buildings registration, religious consents (when a marriage of a gay couple is conducted with religious rites but does not take place in a registered building – such as in a house-band, deathbed or a prison) as well as guidance for registrars, religious organizations and the public.

The spokeswoman added: ‘Parliament will also need to scrutinize a number of statutory instruments setting out how the new arrangements will apply to other legislation; on the detail of certain processes; and to ensure that marriages of same sex couples in England and Wales are treated in Scotland and Northern Ireland as civil partnerships. ‘This all takes time.’

And yet, other countries have done it in a matter of days or weeks. Is it also partly because it was implemented as a separate law, with slightly different benefits and responsibilities from the existing marriage law that governs straight marriages?

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