31/03/2004

Civil Partnership Bill ensures equality says Minister

Equality proposals will mean that same-sex couples in Northern Ireland will be treated in the same way as couples throughout the rest of the UK.

The proposed Civil Partnership Bill, which is published today, will provide for a new legal status for committed same-sex couples who want to formalise their relationship and live their lives in partnership together. A civil partnership registration scheme will be introduced for Northern Ireland alongside schemes for England, Wales and Scotland.

Announcing the Bill, NIO Minister Ian Pearson said: “Last December I launched a period of consultation on the proposals for Civil Registration. In response, we received a wide range of views from individual citizens, political representatives, churches and other organisations.

“Having considered the responses, we have decided to take the proposals forward as part of a UK-wide Bill. The new legislation will introduce Civil Partnerships across the United Kingdom to ensure people who move within the UK enjoy equal rights.

“The Northern Ireland Assembly, on its return, will be free to re-visit these issues and bring forward new legislation if it wishes to do so.”

A report summarising and analysing the responses will be made available on the Office of Law Reform website: www.olrni.gov.uk

(MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 August 2019
NI Children's Hospice Among Mayor's Charity Partners
The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice has been named by the Lord Mayor of Belfast as one of his charity partners. Councillor John Finucane will commit vital funds to support the organisation throughout his term in office.
07 August 2019
Heavy Rain & Thunderstorms To Sweep NI
A band of heavy rain and thunderstorms will potentially bring disruption to Northern Ireland this Friday, 09 August. A yellow weather warning for rain will be in place all throughout the day, with a small chance of flooding to homes and businesses predicted.
13 August 2019
Giants Causeway Ranked Third Most Incredible Sight In The UK
The Giant's Causeway has been named the UK's third most incredible sight by Lonely Planet. The travel publisher compiled a list of the 500 most unmissable experiences and hidden gems across the UK, with sights across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands recognised.
16 August 2019
New Children's Writing Fellow Appointed
Local author Kelly McCaughrain has been announced as the new Seamus Heaney Children's Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland. An award-winning writer, Kelly will be based at Queen's University Belfast for the next two years, working with students and engaging in outreach activities.
10 January 2018
New Secretary Of State To Visit NI
The new Secretary of State Karen Bradley is to make her first ever visit to Northern Ireland today, 10 January. Mrs Bradley has replaced James Brokenshire after he resigned from the post due to health reasons. The former accountant moved from her former role as Culture Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle earlier this week.