Following legislation brought about by the government in December last year as a result of a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, the first opposite-sex civil partnerships have been officiated in Southampton.
Just weeks after the new legislation came into force, Southampton City Council’s Registration Services, which also host weddings, naming ceremonies, and citizenship ceremonies, officiated its first two opposite-sex civil partnerships on New Year’s Eve last year.
The partnerships were made legal during a private session, after the couples decided to sign the necessary paperwork without a ceremony.
Seven further heterosexual civil partnerships have been booked in with the Registration Services, which host ceremonies at several licensed sites across the city, including the fifteenth century Westgate Hall, a timber-framed building by Mayflower Park, in the centre of the city.
In attendance at the symbolic civil partnerships was the Right Worshipful The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie, who presented the couples with commemorative certificates.
James and Jennifer, one of the two couples, said, ‘we’ve been together 27 years and have been waiting a long time to form a civil partnership and are very pleased we’ve now got this opportunity‘.