The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favour of a heterosexual couple who wish to have a civil partnership rather than a marriage.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan from London said that marriage wasn’t an option for them. They said: “We want to raise our children as equal partners and feel that a civil partnership – a modern, symmetrical institution – sets the best example for them.”
Karon Monaghan QC, the couple’s barrister, said that their objections to marriage are “deep-rooted” and “ideological”.
The Supreme Court said that the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which allows same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights as it doesn’t apply to heterosexual couples.
Martin Loat, chairman of the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign, commented on the outcome: “There is only one possible way forward – giving everyone the right to a civil partnership – and we urge the government to seize this opportunity to announce it will end this injustice now.”
The couple started an online petition on change.org to ‘Open civil partnerships to all’ which has already been signed by over 130,000 people.
The couple state: “From a personal perspective, the legacy of marriage – that it treated women as property for centuries, excluded same-sex couples until 2014, and still leaves room only for fathers’ names on marriage certificates – means that marriage is not an option for us.”
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