Civil partnerships now open to opposite sex couples

On 31 December 2019, the first opposite sex civil partnerships will be made in England and Wales following a change to the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Since March 2014, same sex couples have been able to choose whether to make a civil partnership or to marry, but this has not been open to opposite sex couples until now.

As the local registration service provider, Oxfordshire County Council is now ready to serve the community with Civil Partnerships for opposite sexes. The first in Oxfordshire will be held on 2 January 2020. Oxfordshire County Council’s Registration Service reports that 34 couples have registered to make a civil partnership since the changes went live on 2 December 2019. Details of the service offered by the council can be found at:


A civil partnership is a legally recognised relationship between two people and offers many of the same benefits as a conventional marriage. Couples in a civil partnership will benefit from the same rights as married couples in terms of tax benefits, pensions and inheritance. Couples who choose a civil partnership are not required to have a ceremony and the relationship is formed once the couple and their witnesses sign a legal document known as a schedule.

At one of the first civil partnerships to be held in Oxfordshire, Richard Alldred and Amey Richardson said:

“We have been together for 28 years now and although we are in a stable, loving relationship, we lacked rights as a single, cohabiting couple. We wanted legal recognition of our relationship which the new mixed sex civil partnership offers.”

Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Cabinet Member for Education & Cultural Services, said:

“Couples have had to wait a long time for this change and it is very welcome. I am delighted that every couple will now have equal rights and will be able to choose between a marriage or a civil partnership, depending on their personal choice and wishes.”