A heterosexual couple have lost a High Court challenge to be able to enter into a civil partnership.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan said they wanted to commit to each other in a civil partnership”focuses on equality” and did not carry the history of patriarchy that comes with traditional marriage.

Under current legislation, civil partnerships are only available to same-sex couples, but the pair claimed the law as discriminatory to heterosexual couples and was “incompatible” with their right to a private and family life.

However, Mrs Justice Andrews dismissed their claim for judicial review.

The couple have said they intend to appeal.

Rebecca Steinfeld said:

“We made this claim because the UK Government is barring us, and many thousands of opposite-sex couples like us, from the choice of forming a civil partnership, and we want this to change. Personally, we wish to form a civil partnership because that captures the essence of our relationship and values. Civil partnerships are a modern social institution conferring almost identical legal rights and responsibilities as marriage, but without its history and social expectations. We don’t think there is sufficient justification for stopping us or other opposite-sex couples from forming civil partnerships. Unfortunately, the judge has concluded otherwise. We are seeking permission to appeal her decision on behalf of ourselves and the more than 36,000 people who signed our petition on Change.org calling for civil partnership equality.”

Civil Partnership Act 2004 was designed for same-sex couples to be able to commit to each other and gain similar rights to those between married couples prior to the widening of the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

In recent months, over 36,000 people have written to the Minister for Women and Equalities, asking her to open up civil partnerships.


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