Gay couples will still be able to enter into civil partnerships in the UK, but straight couples are still banned from the legal union.
And following a consultation, the UK government has finally announced the date couples in civil partnerships are able to convert their unions into marriage.
That date is 10 December 2014.
More than 120,000 people have entered into a civil partnership since it was made law in 2004.
When same-sex marriage was made legal in England and Wales last year, the UK government announced a consultation that took place from January to April.
More than 10,000 people answered the online survey on whether civil partnerships should be abolished or not.
The survey found less than a third of respondents supported the abolition of civil partnerships, and the majority were against closing civil partnerships to new couples.
Over three quarters were against opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples.
The UK government said they did not know how many gay couples would enter into a civil partnership or a marriage if they had the option to do both.
As the information was lacking, they decided to make no chances to civil partnership law.
Commenting on the announcement Stonewall’s director of campaigns, Sam Dick said: ‘We’re pleased that the government has finally named the date allowing those in civil partnerships to convert to marriage.
‘We know that thousands of couples will now be able to plan celebrations with their friends and family.
‘We hope that the process being set out by the government is straight forward, inexpensive and allows those couples to finally get the marriage certificate they’ve waited patiently for.’
Peter Tatchell has long campaigned for equal civil partnerships.
‘David Cameron has betrayed the principle of equality by refusing to allow opposite-sex couples to have a civil partnership,’ he said.
‘His government is maintaining legal discrimination against straight partners. In a democracy, we should all be equal before the law.
‘Same-sex couples now have a legal advantage over straight couples. They have two options: civil marriage and civil partnership. In contrast, opposite-sex couples have only one option: marriage. This is unjust and unfair.’