I have put a
question mark on the title here because I don't think it is sensible to
use the word 'marriage' other than for the contract between a man and a
woman. If we use the word marriage for other civil partnerships, we
will have to invent a new word for the the solemnising of the contract
between a man and woman which has as its aim an exclusive relationship
(wherein bigamy is a crime in those cultures where polygamy is not
expressly allowed) and the possibility of starting a family by the
natural means of procreation. This sort of family arrangement, where
the family trees and ancestral trees show the genetic relationship, and
the forenames and family names usually also show continuity in one way
or another, will no doubt continue as a widespread custom. To
arbitrarily change the meaning of the word from its historical usage
would not be helpful from a legal, historical or administrative and
that up, I would like some clarification on the change in the the UK
and other European laws which institute the new Civil Partnerships.
I read the
following in the EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
(JUDICIAL PENSIONS AND CHURCH PENSIONS, ETC.) ORDER 2005
7.1. The Act
received Royal Assent on 18 November 2004. The purpose of the Act is to
enable same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their
relationship by forming a civil partnership. The Act also contains
provisions enabling certain overseas same-sex relationships to be
treated as civil partnerships.
Civil partners will be subject to many of the same legal rights and
responsibilities as spouses.
7.2. Two people may register as civil partners of each other provided:
• they are of
the same sex;
• neither of
them is already a civil partner or married;
• they are not
within the prohibited degrees of relationship;
• they are both
over the age of sixteen (and the consent of the appropriate persons has
been obtained if either of the parties are under eighteen).
7.5. In relation to judicial pensions, the policy intention behind this
Order is to fulfill the policy commitment given during the passage of
the Act, and ensure that civil partners are treated in the same way as
spouses. The Order seeks to fulfill this policy objective by including
civil partners and their children in the provisions that give rise to
dependents’ pensions of judicial office holders. The judicial scheme is
amended so that any service in contracted out employment under the
scheme from 6 April 1988 will give rise to contracted out civil
partners benefits. The judicial scheme provides benefits in excess of
contracted out rights; members with service before 5 December 2005 are
given the choice whether to count all previous service for the purposes
of calculating civil partners benefits at this higher level, at member
cost. Any service in relation to service after 5 December 2005 will
give rise to civil partners’ benefits, at member cost, at this higher
level and members who form a civil partnership will pay the appropriate
contribution in respect of any such service. This replicates the way in
which widowers benefits were introduced into the scheme.
to avoid my having to read through piles of legal documents, somebody
can answer the following questions:
1 In order to
register for a CIVIL PARTNERSHIP within the above act, do the two
people concerned have to have a sexual relationship?
2. If so, how is
this relationship defined? Does it have to be "Consummated"? Does it
have to be exclusive?
3. If an active
sexual relationship is compulsory, what is the legal justification of
giving privileged financial status on the grounds of e.g. buggery to
cohabiting friends as opposed to two normal men living together and
wishing to share their assets, home and (for example) responsibility
for children from a previous marriage where the spouse is (for example)
4. If a sexual
relationship is not compulsory to qualify for a Civil Partnership, why
does anyone need to know of the private sexual behaviour of the
5. If a sexual
relationship is not compulsory, why cannot any two people who cohabit
and live as a family register a Civil Partnership and gain the
Maybe there are perfectly good answers to all of the above which make
perfect sense. It just seems odd to me that the questions have not been
raised and answered in the media to my knowledge
DECEMBER 24th 2005
We have an answer - at least an interim one, and it seems I am right to
be puzzled These questions cannot ALL be answered satisfactorily
Or rather they can all be answered, but since a sexual relationship
appears to be irrelevant, the answer to 4 is "They don't" and
to 5 is "Why not,
The following is from a solicitor whose name is removed to preserve
I will do my best to answer your innovative Xmas puzzle!
1. It is a while since I read the Act but I believe no is the answer.
2. Again I believe no, because so far as I recall neither adultery nor non consummation are grounds for dissolution. If they were there would be serious problems of definition!!
3, 4 and 5. In a sense all answered above but there are certain tax disadvantages such as civil partners can only have one income tax allowance and one principal private residence.
When I get back to the office I will have to look again at the act to check the above is right. You are right to be puzzled but all legislative policy relating to the family is determined by pressure groups rather than as a result of carefully thought through policy as to the role of the family in society.
Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.