A heterosexual couple who have been battling to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage have lost their Court of Appeal case. Although the Court found that there was a potential breach of their human rights, they were prepared to allow the government more time to decide the future of civil partnerships and it was on that technicality that the couple lost the case. The Judges did however comment that the current state of affairs could not continue indefinitely, perhaps offering a ray of hope for heterosexual couples wanting to enter into civil partnerships.
Human rights campaigners and indeed many heterosexual couples believe that the law as it stands is discriminatory and that they should be afforded the same choices as gay couples i.e. to marry or have a civil partnership.
The government has yet to decide whether to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples or abolish them for everyone. Statistics from 2015 show that, following the implementation of law allowing gay couples to enter into a marriage, civil partnerships fell by 85% indicating that there could be scope for them to be phased out. Our take on this is that we believe that this is probably more likely than extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.
Despite this set back the couple are going to continue the fight and have confirmed that they will take their case to the Supreme Court. Even if they are unsuccessful, it is highly likely that we will see a change in this area of law in the not too distant future.