GAY couples in Halton are being put in the picture about their rights under the new laws regarding civil partnerships.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has timed the launch of its new advice service to coincide with the Manchester Pride event this weekend.
From December 5, same-sex couples who register a civil partnership will have the same legal benefits and tax rights as married couples. They will be accepted as next-of-kin and for pension benefits.
The factsheet, available under 'What's new' on the CAB website www.adviceguide.org.uk, explains how people can register a civil partnership.
It also tells them about changes to inheritance, tax, housing and benefits rights, and where to get more advice.
But Halton Citizens Advice Bureau is concerned that many people are not aware of the implications of the new law. If a person lives with their same-sex partner, their rights may be affected whether or not they enter a civil partnership.
Instead of claiming pensions or benefits individually, same-sex couples who live together will be treated as a couple even if they do not register a civil partnership.
CAB manager Hitesh Patel said: 'At long last same-sex couples are getting recognition for their relationships in the eyes of the law.
'However, we can not stress enough how important it is that same-sex couples are aware of what these changes will mean.'