Monday, December 10, 2007

Civil Partnership, Another Year On - A Study

This December marks the second anniversary of Civil Partnerships in the UK. For occasion, Citizens Advice investigates the impact and unforeseen consequences of the Civil Partnership Act 2005 in a new report entitled “Another Year On”.

The Citizens Advice service is a network of independent charities that helps people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers.

The report reveals that while many same sex couples, who are in or who are planning Civil Partnerships, find there are many benefits to Civil Partnership, and welcome it, there are still potential emotional, financial and social costs that come with this radical social change.

Some key issues have been identified by the report. Localised evidence suggests people are struggling with the ambiguity of language surrounding Civil Partnerships, and don’t know how to refer to their circumstance in social situations, due to a lack of conversational terms that are equivalent to the terms of the traditional marriage.

The research also found that gay and lesbian couples, who had formed a Civil Partnership were forced into revealing their sexual orientation, in situations which required disclosure of marital or partnership status.

Citizens Advice is calling for all banks and businesses to use the straight forward solution to amend pro forma to have a single category of “married/civil partner” leaving the sexual orientation of any respondents unspecified.

You can read the report here (pdf 68Kb).

This comes a few weeks after an online article revealed that most major banks are also trying to find there way in this area.

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