Southampton’s Registration Services officiate their first civil partnerships for opposite sex couples

Making history since legalisation

Following legalisation, on 31 December Southampton City Council’s Registration Services made history by officiating their first two opposite sex civil partnerships. Previously only available to same sex couples this allowed the opposite sex couples to formalise their relationship in an alternative way to marriage.

Civil_partnership_1Southampton Registration Services has taken seven civil partnership ceremony bookings for opposite sex couples so far. The first two ceremonies on New Year’s Eve were conducted privately with the couples choosing to sign the paperwork with no ceremony.

Right Worshipful The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie, was in attendance and presented a commemorative certificate to the couples.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Environment at Southampton City Council, said:

“We’re proud and privileged to have shared this historic occasion with two couples who formed their opposite sex civil partnerships at our offices in Bugle Street today.

"The significance of them formally becoming civil partners means they have the security and equality that they felt they were unable to have without being married.”

The first couple that formed their civil partnership today, James and Jennifer (pictured right), said:

"We've been together 27 years and have been waiting a long time to form a civil partnership and are very pleased we've now got this opportunity."

The second couple that formed their civil partnership today, Kim and Paul, said:

"We didn't want the fuss of a ceremony - we just wanted our relationship to be recognized formally after having been together since 2004 and having a child together."

Southampton’s Registration Services will offer civil partnership ceremonies at each of their stunning ceremony venues, as well as their licenced sites across the city. Westgate Hall is a 15th century timber framed building in a beautiful setting, hidden away amongst the medieval old town walls. Southampton Registration Service is fortunate to be located in Bugle Street, part of the Medieval 'French Quarter' of the city. This building is the location of two further ceremony rooms: The Golden Jubilee Room and The Magnolia Room.

Many opt for a grand ceremony where they can make promises to each other and exchange rings with their family and friends present. Alternatively, some choose to simply sign the civil partnership schedule with two witnesses. Southampton Registration Services have options for all avenues, starting with the small statutory office.

Couples who are in a civil partnership are able to convert it to a marriage, if they choose to in the future.

Southampton Registration Services can be contacted on 023 8091 5327.

For more information visit Weddings, ceremonies and registrations.