Challenge to ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have begun a legal challenge against the ban on members of the opposite sex being able to enter into a civil partnership.

The reason for the ban is that it is felt likely to undermine the institution of marriage, an argument put forward by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

This case will be the first attempt made to challenge the law which was formulated under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The parties allege that it is unfair that they are prohibited from enjoying the same rights and eligibilities that same-sex couples do.

The action follows an attempt by the couple in October 2014 to enter into a civil partnership at Chelsea Town Hall. The registrar refused to provide them with a civil partnership and, as a result, the couple are now launching a judicial review against the local council in Kensington in Chelsea.

The couple wish to enter into a civil partnership as they do not believe in the institution of marriage but would like to express their commitment to one another by a different social institution. They disagree with the social pressures of marriage and all the accompanying traditions such as hen dos, father giving away his daughter and the white dress.

The couple are hoping to attract funding for their legal action from those who support equal unions.  The case has been described as a “very important case in relation to equality”.

We will report further when the case has been heard.