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Foreign gay unions to be recognized as UK civil partnerships

Jo Swinson, Under Secretary for Minister of Equalities, has extended the list of countries included in the Civil Partnership Act

Foreign gay unions to be recognized as UK civil partnerships

Overseas gay unions are going to be recognized in UK law as civil partnerships, allowing foreign partnerships to have equal legal footing with British couples.

The UK government laid an order to update schedule 20 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to extend the list of overseas same-sex relationships from 25 countries to 75.

From 31 January 2013, gay couples from nations such as Ireland, Brazil, Portugal and Sweden will be able to have their legal status protected while residing in the UK.

Women and Equalities Under-Secretary Minister Jo Swinson said it was ‘great to see that so many countries across the world have legalised same-sex unions.’

‘The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was a significant milestone in UK history,’ she said. ‘So it’s completely right that we now ensure our law reflects these changes and set an example for other countries to follow.

‘This change to the law will make it quicker and easier for couples overseas to determine whether their overseas relationship will be treated as a civil partnership in the UK.’

The government said they had remained committed to the Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward statements, which said they would update the list by December 2012.

In the worldwide section of the report, they say they will also work with the European Union and international partners to oppose the introduction of new anti-homosexual legislation.

On 7 December, the UK government’s proposal for their plans for marriage equality was leaked.

It said Prime Minister David Cameron was going to allow gay couples to marry in religious buildings – if the religion was happy to do so. If they did not want to perform same-sex marriages, they would be completely protected legally.

An entire list of all nations to be recognized as a civil partnership can be found on the UK government website.

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