The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into operation on the 5 December 2005. The Act increases the rights of same-sex partners and removes discrimination against them. Same-sex partners can now obtain legal recognition of their relationship by registering as civil partners.
Other legislation and regulations have been amended to reflect the change in the law affording same sex civil partners virtually the same rights as married couples. This means provision is now made in law to deal with relationship breakdown as well as other areas such finances, children and domestic violence.