Campaigners raise concerns over potential scrapping of civil partnerships

Government rejects calls to extend civil partnerships to mixed sex couples

CAMPAIGNERS have raised concerns over a Scottish Government consultation exploring an end to civil partnerships and apparent dismissal of proposals that partnerships be opened to same sex couples.

The Scottish Government consultation considers wether to leave civil parternships unchanged, to extend civil partenrships to cover mixed sex couples, or to end the creation of new civil partnerships after a certain date.

Citing costs, the Scottish Government has said it is "not persuaded" by the case for opening civil partnerships, which are currently only available to same sex couples, to mixed sex couples.

A statement on the Scottish Government website regarding the government consultation explained that three options would be explored: "The consultation seeks views on three options: no change, no new civil partnerships after a certain date in the future, or introducing opposite sex civil partnership. The consultation indicates that the Government is not persuaded that opposite sex civil partnership should be introduced in Scotland."

A spokesperson for the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) Campaign told CommonSpace:"If the Scottish Government is truly committed to equality and social inclusion; then all practices, institutions and arrangements should be available to all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

"We are committed to building a fully inclusive society from the starting point of education, and so we are disappointed to see that our government have failed to recognise the possible negative implications of this for many, particularly those from the transgender community," he said.

Co-convenor of the Scottish Green party and LGBT+ rights campaigner Maggie Chapman told CommonSpace: "Marriage equality was a profound step towards ending legislative homophobia. It seems very strange that the Scottish Government is not willing to extend the same equality to civil partnerships.

"We need to move to a position of full parity of esteem, and I would urge the Scottish Government to reconsider its position," she added.

The news comes after a dramatic drop in the numbers of couples opting for civil partnerships following the introduction of equal marriage in 2014.

Though civil partnerships were introduced less than a decade ago, the number of new civil partnerships has fallen dramatically. In the months of April to June 2015 there were just eight new civil partnerships, down from 129 new civil partnerships in the same period for 2015.

Picture courtesy of Kit