Heterosexual civil partnerships

In February 2017 we posted a blog on the continuation of the battle for heterosexual civil partnerships. Since then, Mr Keidan and Mrs Steinfeld have taken their case to the Supreme Court and have left the judge calling it a ‘blatant inequality’. The Supreme Court has found that the non-availability of civil partnerships for heterosexual couples is a breach of the human rights law.

Although it has been deemed a success, the judgement however still hasn’t obliged the government to change the law but it is most certainly a sign of hope for heterosexual campaigners who wish for civil partnerships.

The Supreme Court’s decision makes it more probable for the government to act on the topic whether they agree or disagree. The Government also have accepted this inequality but believe that time is required to allow a confident decision about the future. Prime Minister Theresa May commented and told Parliament that she would consider the case with ‘great care’.

An online petition from after the initial court hearing in February 2017 has reached 130,000 signatures from human rights campaigners in support of Civil Partnerships for everyone.

Our alternative view on this case is that we believe civil partnerships will eventually phase out and that this is more likely to happen than extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. We also believe that it will be a long time coming before the law changes.

The next step for Mr Keidan and Mrs Steinfeld is them later going to Whitehall to deliver a letter to the Equalities Minister. If successful the couple will be likely to try and persuade the government to change the law on civil partnerships making it available for everyone.

Paul Lancaster

Paul Lancaster
Family Law Team
0113 227 9215

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