Marriage is any formal union which is legally recognised in the UK as a marriage.
Following the implementation of the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) Act 2013, the first marriages of same sex couples took place on 29 March 2014. Civil partnership is a registered civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and includes those registered outside the UK. A civil partnership can be converted into a marriage.
Protection under the Act extends only to those who are married or in a civil partnership; those who are unmarried or single are not protected, nor are those who intend to marry or form a civil partnership. Similarly, those who have divorced or who have had their civil partnership dissolved are not protected.
People who are married or in a civil partnership share the protected characteristic; it covers equally, for example, a married woman and a man in a civil partnership