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Civil Partnerships

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in respect of which countries are registers of (a) same-sex marriages and (b) legal partnerships recognised in the UK. (255825)

Overseas same sex legal partnerships can also be recognised as UK civil partnerships if they meet the ‘general conditions’ outlined in section 212 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

In addition:

(a) Same sex marriages from the following countries are ‘automatically’ recognised as civil partnerships in the UK:

Belgium

Canada

Netherlands

Spain

USA (Massachusetts)

(b) The following other kinds of overseas legal partnership are also ‘automatically’ recognised as civil partnerships:

Andorra: unió estable de parella

Australia (Tasmania): significant relationship

Belgium: cohabitation légale (statutory cohabitation)

Canada (Nova Scotia): domestic partnership

Canada (Quebec): civil union

Denmark: registreret partnerskab (registered partnership)

Finland: rekisteröity parisuhde (registered partnership)

France: pacte civile de solidarité (civil solidarity pact)

Germany: Lebenspartnerschaft (life partnership)

Iceland: stadfesta samvist (confirmed cohabitation)

Luxembourg: the relationship referred to as partenariat enregistré or eingetragene partnerschaft

Netherlands: geregistreerde partnerschap (registered partnership)

New Zealand: civil union

Norway: registrert partnerskap (registered partnership)

Sweden: registrerat partnerskap (registered partnership)

USA (California): domestic partnership

USA (Connecticut): civil union

USA (Maine): domestic partnership

USA (New Jersey): domestic partnership

USA (Vermont): civil union

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in which overseas countries civil partnerships entered into in the UK are recognised. (255826)

The Government do not hold definitive information on which overseas countries recognise UK civil partnerships, or under what terms. The laws of other countries are subject to change without notice, and in some cases can be ambiguous.

We are aware of the difficulties UK civil partners living in countries where their legal relationship status is not recognised can face, and where appropriate, we are working with those countries to achieve recognition.