Civil Partnerships v Marriage
Do I want a partnership or a marriage?
Marriage is to the exclusion of all others, ie you are monogamous. Civil partnership is offered only to same sex couples, but there are slight differences as you cannot:
- have it annulled because one of you had a communicable sexual disease at the time of the partnership.
- or dissolve a partnership due to adultery (adultery still means having sexual intercourse with someone from the opposite sex)
If you form a civil partnership your legal status is that of ‘civil partner’, whereas a marriage means you can refer to each other spouse or husband / wife
Benefits of having either a partnership or marriage include:
- access to benefits including social security and state pension, including
the right to benefit from a deceased partner’s pension
- recognition under inheritance rules
- ability to succeed to tenancy rights
- next-of-kin visiting rights in hospital
- ability to gain parental responsibility for each other’s children
- right to register the death of a partner
- employment benefits
- recognition under intestacy rules
- if married you can claim married couples tax allowance
Civil marriage & partnership is offered to all through the Registration Service of your local authority.
Do I want a religious service?
When you get to the stage in your relationship where you want to take the next step, it is still normal to feel some sort of spiritual connection.
The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have chosen not to conduct same-sex marriages, but some other religious organisations do. In Portsmouth, John Pounds Memorial Unitarian Church are legally registered to conduct same-sex marriages.
Some churches who are not registered to conduct marriages can still perform a blessing following a civil ceremony by a registrar.
Blessings can be performed by any ordained priest / minister.