Civil Partnerships - An Introduction

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 finally came into force in December 2005, paving the way for thousands of same-sex couples to begin planning for what is increasingly becoming known as a gay wedding.

That same December, entertainer Sir Elton John married his long-term partner, film producer David Furnish, in a much-publicised civil partnership ceremony in Windsor. It was one of the first civil partnerships to be celebrated in UK history and the ceremony was conducted by the same registrar who presided over the civil wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

A civil partnership is a celebration of the union of two people (of the same sex) who have chosen to devote their lives together, and for that reason it can be called a gay wedding.

This section provides further information in a number of key areas: