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Gay couple must end civil partnership before they can marry

A gay couple is considering suing the UK Government after being told they cannot get married unless they first dissolve their civil partnership, reports the Guardian.

The couple from Barnsley became civil partners in 2008 because at the time they were not able to enter a same sex marriage.

They intended to convert this into marriage under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which is set to allow same sex marriages from the end of March this year. However, the process for converting civil partnerships into marriage is unlikely to be finalised before the end of the year, and this means that the only way they can legally get married before the process is sorted out is by first ending their civil partnership.

Speaking to the Guardian, the couple said:

"We're being penalised because we're already in a civil partnership. No couple should be asked to divorce or dissolve to be able to get married. To dissolve a civil partnership, you have to go to court, and you have to have a valid reason. Wanting to get married is hardly a valid reason to dissolve a civil partnership, so we would effectively have had to commit perjury."

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