Births, marriages, deaths and nationality Marriage of same sex couples

Same-sex couples can get married, as long as they are not already in a legal relationship such as a civil partnership or civil union.

You can marry in a religious ceremony - but only if the religious organisation has ‘opted in’ to conduct same sex marriages, and the minister agrees.

If you were married under foreign law, your marriage is now recognised in England and Wales.

Marriages of same-sex couples in some British consulates, armed forces bases overseas and military chapels is possible.

You can also convert your civil partnership to a marriage  if you registered it in England and Wales, or overseas in a consulate or armed forces base (where the civil partnership was registered according to the laws of England and Wales)

Organise your marriage

See how to organise your marriage.

You can also:

  • change your legal gender without ending your marriage. 
  • If you're already in a civil partnership formed under the law of England and Wales, and you both change your legal gender at the same time, you will be able to stay in a civil partnership. To change you legal gender at the same time, you will both need to get a 'gender recognition certificate' on the same day. 

A procedure is in place for the registration of a marriage or civil partnership in the Gender Recognition Marriage Register or the Gender Recognition Civil Partnership Register, where one or both parties obtain gender recognition, so that a certificate in the new details may be issued.

Manchester registration officers have no role in the process. The General Register Office is responsible for making the registrations and issuing the certificates.

The registration is voluntary and the lack of a certificate does not affect the continuation of the
marriage or civil partnership following the issue of the Gender Recognition Certificate(s).

For further information please contact:
The General Register Office (First Point of Contact) - Telephone 0300 123 1837 option 1
or email: or

Find out more


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