In 2005 Liverpool was the first local authority to feature an image of a same-couple, Mark and Shaun Johnson, on their brochure for its registration services. The image was taken at their commitment ceremony before civil partnership legislation was brought in to law at the end of the year. Commitment ceremonies held no legal recognition.
By mid-December 2005 same-sex couples were able to register for a civil partnership, a new legal relationship distinct from marriage which held many of the same rights and privileges. By the end of December 2005, 20 same-sex couples in Liverpool had registered for a civil partnership. By the beginning of 2015, 62,621 civil partnerships had been celebrated in England and Wales.
Liverpool was one of the first cities in the country to hold a civil partnership ceremony for a same-sex couple as well as one of the first to conduct same-sex marriages when legislation allowed this in 2014.