The 21st December marked the 7th anniversary of the first day that same-sex couples were able to enter into a civil partnership in England and Wales.
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 enabled same-sex couples for the first time in UK history to have their relationship recognised in law. It also gives them equivalent rights and responsibilities as to marriage.
At the end of last year, the Government published the results of its equal marriage consultation, and announced that it would introduce legislation next year which allow same-sex marriage.
It will also introduce a process that will allow civil partnerships (now numbering some 50,000) to be converted into a civil marriage; and change the law so that individuals can legally change their gender while remaining married – putting an end to the distressing process of having to end a marriage or civil partnership before a full gender recognition certificate can be issued.