December 2005, revised March 2012
The Bishops of the Church in Wales agreed the following statement.
The Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005. As a result, two people of the same sex are able to acquire a new legal status by registering a civil partnership, with implications for their rights and responsibilities in respect of taxation, nationality and immigration, inheritance, liability for maintenance and child support, and pension benefits. The Bishops of the Church in Wales cannot and do not wish to prevent what the law allows for Church members, both lay and clerical. The legislation leaves entirely open the nature of the commitment that members of a couple might choose to make to each other when forming a civil partnership, and is not predicated on the intention to engage in a sexual relationship. The legislation also makes no change in the law in relation to marriage, although consultation is now taking place which may result in such changes.
In December 2011, provision was made for civil partnerships to be registered in religious premises if the denomination wishes to allow it. For the Church in Wales, the body that must make such a decision is the Governing Body. Until such time as the Governing Body of the Church in Wales permits the use of Church in Wales buildings for such purposes, it is not possible for individual parochial church councils to apply to local authorities for authorisation for Church in Wales buildings to be used in this way.