A Decade of Same-Sex Marriage

A Decade of Same-Sex Marriage

A Decade of Same-Sex Marriage

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 was passed on 17th July 2013; however, it wasn’t until 13th March 2014 that couples could register their intentions to marry under the Act, followed by the first same-sex marriages taking place on 29th March 2014. The Act also allowed those who entered a same-sex civil partnership to convert their civil partnership to marriage without the requirement of needing to dissolve their civil partnership before getting married.

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013


We celebrate this 10th anniversary of this pinnacle moment which was long overdue for marriage equality. We also look back on the challenges and reflect on the progress made.

The journey and progress made towards legalising same-sex marriages started long before the legislation itself, efforts included equality public awareness campaigns from various organisations and charities. Over the years, there has been a change in public opinion, with increasing support for marriage equality. According to a 2023 YouGov article, 78% of Britons say they support same-sex marriage (the highest it has ever been). The combination of awareness, changing opinions, and efforts made to challenge varying opinions in parliament have all contributed towards the success of the movement.

Looking back at 10 years before the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, it was only in 2004 that the Civil Partnership Act was passed. The Act granted civil partnerships in the UK and gave same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex marriages in the UK.

Legislation has continued to reform, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (2020) came into force on 6t April, 2022. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of no-fault divorce, eliminating the requirement to assign blame when divorcing. Before the reform, one of the reasons for divorce was adultery, however, the definition of this referred to a sexual relationship between a married individual and someone of the opposite sex who is not their spouse. Due to the definition of adultery relating to opposite-sex relationships, divorcing on the grounds of adultery in a same-sex marriage was not always possible.

At Grant Stephens Family Law, our teams of family law specialists have supported LGBTQ+ people for many years, if you would like to speak to us about your family law issue, please contact us or arrange a free initial appointment.

Published: 13 March 2024


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