The common law does not provide a general right to family life, although it does seek to uphold the validity of marriage and to safeguard the foundations of family life1. Marriage between two parties of the same sex has been lawful in England and Wales and in Scotland since 2014: it is not, however, lawful in Northern Ireland2. Provision continues to be made in the United Kingdom for the registration of civil partnerships — ie a formalised relationship between two people of the same sex which is not a marriage even though it affords virtually identical legal status and
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