The first same sex weddings can take place as from 29 March 2014.

This Act brings about a number of changes following on from the Civil Partnership Act in 2004 and enables same sex couples to marry under the law of England and Wales. Civil partnerships will still exist but any same sex couple who has a civil partnership can, if they would like to, convert their partnerships to marriage.

Under the 2013 Act, same sex couples generally have the same legal rights as opposite sex couples. However, this will not cover occupational pension schemes.

The Act permits same sex couples to marry in countries outside of England and Wales if certain criteria within the Act are met. It is important to note though that if a same sex couple marry under the UK legislation that will not necessarily mean they can end their relationship in another country if it does not recognise the new legislation.

This is a developing area of law and if you have any questions or are seeking advice and guidance on the topic, please do contact Rachael Oakes on 01865 781181 or rachael.oakes@henmansfreeth.co.uk.