Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 6 August 2007

Civil Partnerships really are just like 'marriage' in the eyes of the law

This is the first case of a person being prosecuted for entering into a civil partnership with another person of the same gender whilst still married to a person of the opposite gender. The law regards this as bigamy, just as much as if it were a bigamous marriage. The lady who committed the offence, by lying that she was single both to her civil partner and to the registrar who solemnised their civil partnership, has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 100 hours community service.

Sad as this case may be for all concerned, I regard the court judgement as a very postive signal that civil partnerships have real status under the law and that the responsibilities they impose are just as important as the privileges they grant.

I wonder how long it will be before a case of bigamy occurs where a person who has already entered into a civil partnership goes on to contract a marriage without having first dissolved the civil partnership? Such is the diversity of human relationships that I suspect such a case will occur sooner or later.

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