Exclusive: Arlene Fosters Letter to Scottish Ministers Over Gay Marriage.

As many of you will recall, I submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Parliament in Scotland and to the Northern Irish Assembly on Arlene Forsters letter to the Scottish Government with regards to banning Northern Irish citizens from being able to engage in same-sex marriages in Scotland.

Both the letter from Arlene Foster and the response to her are in the documents below.



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From Arlene Foster to Scottish Government: S20150031465

From Scottish Government to Arlene Foster: SR20150031465

 

TEXT OF RESPONSE FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT:

Justice Directorate

Civil Law and Legal System Division

[telephone and email redacted]

Martin Keatings

[ADDRESS REDACTED]

 

Our ref: FOI/17/01358    A 18208240

 

20 June 2017

 

Dear Mr Keatings

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

CHANGING CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS REGISTERED OUTSIDE OF SCOTLAND TO MARRIAGE IN SCOTLAND

CORRESPONDENCE FROM ARLENE FOSTER MLA

Thank you for your request dated 17 June 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

Your request

You asked for a copy of the letter which Arlene Foster wrote to Marco Biagi on changing civil partnerships registered outside of Scotland to marriage.

Response to your request

I enclose a copy of the information you requested and in an electronic format, as you also requested.  

The Scottish Government has also published this information at https://beta.gov.scot/publications/changing-civil-partnerships-registered-outwith-scotland/, along with an exchange of correspondence on the same subject between Mr Biagi and Simon Hamilton MLA, then the Minister of Finance and Personnel in the Northern Ireland administration.

By way of general background, under the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, couples in a civil partnership registered in Scotland can change their relationship to marriage.  In 2015, a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) was made so that couples in a civil partnership registered outside Scotland could also change their civil partnership to a marriage in Scotland.

The SSI is at www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2015/371/contents/made  and guidance for couples is at www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//registration/guidance-notes-to-change-a-non-scottish-civil-partnership-into-a-marriage.pdf

Your right to request a review

If you are unhappy with this response to your FOI request, you may ask us to carry out an internal review of the response, by writing to Paul Johnston, Director General Learning and Justice, Scottish Government, Room 1N.10, St Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG email: [email protected]   Your review request should explain why you are dissatisfied with this response, and should be made within 40 working days from the date when you received this letter.  We will complete the review and tell you the result, within 20 working days from the date when we receive your review request.  

If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.  More detailed information on your appeal rights is available on the Commissioner’s website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Unhappywiththeresponse/AppealingtoCommissioner.aspx.

Yours sincerely

 

SIMON STOCKWELL

Family and Property



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