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Civil Partnership and Marriage are the Same - Essay Example

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Civil Partnership and Marriage are the Same, Hence Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples or Civil Partnership to Different-Sex Couples are Unnecessary: A Critical Discussion Introduction In English law, the classic definition of marriage dates back to 1866, given by Lord Penzance in Hyde v Hyde, as “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others” (Horrigan 2003: 175)…
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Civil Partnership and Marriage are the Same
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Download file to see previous pages To be eligible for a civil partnership, the parties should be of the same sex, be unmarried and not already a civil partner, be over the age of 16 and have parental consent if under 18 years of age, and should not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship. The formalities of marriage are predominantly governed by “the Marriage Act 1949, the Marriage Act 1983 and the Marriage (Registrar General’s Licence) Act 1970” (LexisNexis 2011). They include requirement for licenses, the conduction of marriages in a prescribed place, the fulfillment of formalities that relate to the hours of marriage, the attendance of witnesses, and other factors. Failure to comply with the formalities may form grounds for nullity. The formalities governing the formation of a civil partnership are contained in the Civil Partnership Act 2004. They include the requirements pertaining to notice and residence, the place of registration, delivery of the civil partnership document, registration, publicity, objections, and the waiting period. There is recognition of particular overseas relationships in England and Wales, which derive the same benefits as civil partnerships, and may be terminated in the same way as civil partnerships. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss the statement that civil partnership is simply marriage by another name; therefore there is no need to extend marriage to same-sex couples or civil partnership to different-sex couples. Civil Partnerships and Marriage Until 1967 the concept of same-sex partners had not been acceptable in the United Kingdom; and sexual relations between two people of the same gender was considered illegal. The law was changed in 2004 as a result of extensive pressure from the gay community and the government’s commitment to equality and social justice. Ultimately, the law recognised the relationship between same-sex couples as similar to the marriage relationship between opposite-sex people. These reforms are significant, particularly for those generations of same-sex couples who suffered discrimination because of their relationship being considered illegal (Family Law 2, 2007). Thus, The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA) has had long-term legal effects. It creates a new legal status of ‘civil registered partner’, and aligns English law with that of “the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and Germany” (Family Law 2, 2007: 30). The Act grants several rights and responsibilities to homosexual partnerships that have been registered. Like marriage, the Civil Partnership Act, 2004 has particular formalities which need to be in place. The formation of the civil partnership is procedurally similar to the civil wedding. Thus, “the registration cannot take place in a place of religious worship and no religious service is permitted” (Family Law 2, 2007: 30). However, a specific difference between a civil marriage and a civil partnership is the form of words used; that is, no specific forms of words need to be used for a civil partnership unlike the case of a civil wedding. Only people of the same sex can register Section 2(1) of the Civil Partner ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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