Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

Publication Date:January 01, 2013
 
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Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

2013 CHAPTER 30

An Act to make provision for the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, about gender change by married persons and civil partners, about consular functions in relation to marriage, for the marriage of armed forces personnel overseas, for permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations to be solemnized on the authority of certificates of a superintendent registrar, for the review of civil partnership, for the review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes, and for connected purposes.

[17th July 2013]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1 Marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales

PART 1

Marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales

Extension of marriage

Extension of marriage

S-1 Extension of marriage to same sex couples

1 Extension of marriage to same sex couples

(1) Marriage of same sex couples is lawful

(2) The marriage of a same sex couple may only be solemnized in accordance with-

(a) Part 3 of the Marriage Act 1949

(b) Part 5 of the Marriage Act 1949

(c) the Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970, or

(d) an Order in Council made under Part 1 or 3 of Schedule 6

(3) No Canon of the Church of England is contrary to section 3 of the Submission of the Clergy Act 1533 (which provides that no Canons shall be contrary to the Royal Prerogative or the customs, laws or statutes of this realm) by virtue of its making provision about marriage being the union of one man with one woman

(4) Any duty of a member of the clergy to solemnize marriages (and any corresponding right of persons to have their marriages solemnized by members of the clergy) is not extended by this Act to marriages of same sex couples.

(5) A "member of the clergy" is-

(a) a clerk in Holy Orders of t he Church of England, or

(b) a clerk in Holy Orders of the Church in Wales.

Religious protection

Religious protection

S-2 Marriage according to religious rites: no compulsion to solemnize etc

2 Marriage according to religious rites: no compulsion to solemnize etc

(1) A person may not be compelled by any means (including by the enforcement of a contract or a statutory or other legal requirement) to-

(a) undertake an opt-in activity, or

(b) refrain from undertaking an opt-out activity.

(2) A person may not be compelled by any means (including by the enforcement of a contract or a statutory or other legal requirement)-

(a) to conduct a relevant marriage,

(b) to be present at, carry out, or otherwise participate in, a relevant marriage, or

(c) to consent to a relevant marriage being conducted,

where the reason for the person not doing that thing is that the relevant marriage concerns a same sex couple.

(3) In this section-

"opt-in activity" means an activity of the kind specified in an entry in the first column of the following table which falls to be undertaken for the purposes of any enactment specified in the corresponding entry in the second column;

"opt-out activity" means an activity which reverses, or otherwise modifies, the effect of an opt-in activity.

Activity

Enactment

Giving consent

  • Any of these provisions of the 1949 Act: (a) section 26A(3); (b) section 26B(2), (4) or (6); (c) section 44A(6); (d) section 46(1C)
  • Regulations under section 70A(5) of the 1949 Act (as mentioned in section 70A(6)(c) of that Act) relating to an application for registration
  • Section 1(3) of the Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970
  • An armed forces overseas marriage Order in its application to marriages of same sex couples (as mentioned in paragraph 9(5) of Schedule 6)

Applying for the registration of a building

Section 43A of the 1949 Act

Authorising a person to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples in a building registered under section 43A of the 1949 Act

Section 43B of the 1949 Act

Being authorised to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples in a building registered under section 43A of the 1949 Act

Section 43B of the 1949 Act

Giving a certificate, giving a copy of a consent, or certifying any matter

Any of these provisions of the 1949 Act:

  • (a) section 43A(3);
  • (b) section 43B(2);
  • (c) section 44A(7)

(4) In this section-

"1949 Act" means the Marriage Act 1949;

"armed forces overseas marriage Order" means an Order in Council under Part 3 of Schedule 6;

"person"- (a) includes a religious organisation; (b) does not include a registrar, a superintendent registrar or the Registrar General;

"relevant marriage" means- (a) a marriage of a same sex couple solemnized in accordance with- (i) section 26A or 26B of the 1949 Act (marriage in a place of worship or in another place according to religious rites or usages), (ii) Part 5 of the 1949 Act (marriage in a naval, military or air force chapel), (iii) section 1 of the Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (deathbed marriage), where the marriage is according to religious rites or usages, or (iv) an armed forces overseas marriage Order, where the marriage is according to religious rites or usages, including any ceremony forming part of, or connected with, the solemnization of such a marriage; and (b) a marriage ceremony read or celebrated in accordance with section 46 of the 1949 Act in respect of a same sex couple (religious ceremony after registrar's marriage of same sex couple); and a reference to conducting a relevant marriage is to be read accordingly.

(5) In section 110 of the Equality Act 2010 (liability of employees and agents), after subsection (5) insert-

"(5A) A does not contravene this section if A-

(a) does not conduct a relevant marriage,

(b) is not present at, does not carry out, or does not otherwise participate in, a relevant marriage, or

(c) does not consent to a relevant marriage being conducted,

for the reason that the marriage is the marriage of a same sex couple.

(5B) Subsection (5A) applies to A only if A is within the meaning of "person" for the purposes of section 2 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013; and other expressions used in subsection (5A) and section 2 of that Act have the same meanings in that subsection as in that section.".

(6) In Schedule 3 to the Equality Act 2010 (services and public functions: exceptions), after Part 6 insert-

"PART 6A

Marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales

25A Marriage according to religious rites: no compulsion to solemnize etc

(1) A person does not contravene section 29 only because the person-

(a) does not conduct a relevant marriage,

(b) is not present at, does not carry out, or does not otherwise participate in, a relevant marriage, or

(c) does not consent to a relevant marriage being conducted,

for the reason that the marriage is the marriage of a same sex couple.

(2) Expressions used in this paragraph and in section 2 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 have the same meanings in this paragraph as in that section.".

Part 3 of the Marriage Act 1949

Part 3 of the Marriage Act 1949

S-3 Marriage for which no opt-in necessary

3 Marriage for which no opt-in necessary

In Part 3 of the Marriage Act 1949, for section 26 substitute-

"26 Marriage of a man and a woman; marriage of same sex couples for which no opt-in necessary

(1)The following marriages may be solemnized on the authority of two certificates of a superintendent registrar-

"(a) a marriage of a man and a woman, in a building registered under section 41, according to such form and ceremony as the persons to be married see fit to adopt

(b) a marriage of any couple in the office of a superintendent registrar;

(bb) a marriage of any couple on approved premises;

(c) a marriage of a man and a woman according to the usages of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers);

(d) a marriage between a man and a woman professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews;

(dd) a qualifying residential marriage;

(e)a marriage of a man and a woman according to the rites of the Church of England in any church or chapel in which banns of matrimony may be published."
(2)In this section "qualifying residential marriage" means-

(a) the marriage of a man and a woman (other than a marriage in pursuance of subsection (1)(c) or (d) above), one or each of whom is house-bound or a detained person, at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons, or

(b) the marriage of a same sex couple (other than a marriage according to the rites of the Church of England or other religious rites or usages), one or each of whom is house-bound or a detained person, at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons.".

S-4 Opt-in: marriage in places of worship

4 Opt-in: marriage in places of worship

(1) After section 26 of the Marriage Act 1949 insert-

"26A Opt-in to marriage of same sex couples: places of worship

(1) A marriage of a same sex couple in an appropriately registered building according to such form and ceremony as the persons to be married see fit to adopt may be solemnized on the authority of two certificates of a superintendent registrar

(2) For the purposes of this section "appropriately registered building" means a building which has been registered under section 43A.

(3) An application for registration of a building under section 43A may not be made unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same sex couples.

(4) For that purpose, in relation to a building-

"relevant governing authority" means the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section;

"relevant religious...

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