Supreme Court recognises right of all to have civil partnership rather than marriage


A heterosexual couple have won their case for the right to have a civil partnership instead of marriage.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan had previously been prevented from having the legal union in accordance with a case heard in February 2017 in the Court of Appeal. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 states that only same-sex couples are eligible to form Civil Partnerships.

Since March 2014, same-sex couples have been able to elect whether they enter into a Civil Partnership or whether they would prefer to get married. However, Rebecca and Charles argued that heterosexual couples are not afforded the same choice. This led them to claim that the law was discriminatory in nature.

The couple have two children together and hold objections to the institution of marriage citing that it was "historically heteronormative and patriarchal".

They argued that the law was inequitable.

On Wednesday 27 June the Supreme Court agreed that they were being discriminated against.

Lord Kerr stated that the government “accepts that the difference cannot be justified” and that what was sought by the government was "tolerance of the discrimination while it sorts out how to deal with it".

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Alice Wightman, family law solicitor and specialist mediator