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Most provisions of the Act came into effect on 13 March 2014. The first same sex marriages took place this weekend, as the law requires couples to wait at least 16 days after giving notice to the register office before getting married.
Amongst other matters, the Act provides:
It is also expected that measures will be implemented before the end of the year to allow couples in a civil partnership the option of converting their partnership to a marriage.
There are provisions which limit the extent of the equivalence of same sex marriage in respect of certain pensions issues, though this is due to be the subject of a government review later this year. There will also be a review and consultation on the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act in due course, as well as a review into the conduct of marriages by non-religious belief organisations, such as humanists.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act applies in England and Wales. Separate legislation is being implemented in Scotland, but there are no proposals for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.
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