[JURIST Europe] Monday is the first day of registration for same-sex couples to apply for a civil partnership ceremony under the UK Civil Partnership Act 2004 [official text]. The civil partnerships allowed by the Act are legally distinct [BBC backgrounder] from marriages in the UK and are not required to be performed in public, as is the case with traditional marriages. The law requires partners to register with local councils, who will then provide an official to perform the ceremony. The actual performance of the ceremonies will be permitted from December 19 in Northern Ireland, December 20 in Scotland, and December 21 in England and Wales. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has local coverage.
D. Wes Rist is Bureau Chief for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. He is based in the UK.