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Each party to the civil partnership must be of the same sex and be at least 16 years of age.Anyone below 18 years of age will usually need parental consent, except in Scotland where such consent is not required.Specific registration procedures apply to certain special circumstances, e.g.concerning the housebound, detained persons and those seriously ill and in danger of death.Each party must have resided in the British jurisdiction in which they intend to register, (England and Wales or Northern Ireland) for at least seven days immediately preceding the giving of notice and there will, in most cases, be a fifteen-day waiting period after notice is given.A civil partnership in Wales (Welsh: ) may be conducted either in English or, provided that both registering parties, the registrar and witnesses are able to understand and write in the Welsh language, in Welsh.
Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone said: "I am delighted to confirm that early next year, this government will begin a formal consultation on equal civil marriage for same-sex couples.
As of October 2009, the British Embassy in France listed twenty eight as being authorised to hold civil partnerships.
For such registrations, at least one partner must be a British citizen.
"The Scottish Government is choosing to make its initial views clear at the outset of this consultation.
We tend towards the view that religious ceremonies for civil partnerships should no longer be prohibited and that same sex marriage should be introduced so that same sex couples have the option of getting married if that is how they wish to demonstrate their commitment to each other.