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Posted 19 January 2016

Couple fighting ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

Today, The Guardian reports the interesting case of Miss Steinfeld and Mr Keidan who are campaigning for the right to enter into an alternative relationship status to marriage but one which provides the same rights and securities.

They argue that a civil partnership would provide a contemporary association which mirrors their values and to prevent them from entering into a civil partnership because of their sex is against their human right to family life.

The case is being brought on the grounds that the refusal to allow them to participate in a civil partnership amounts to discrimination, breaching their right to family life under article 8 of the European convention on human rights.

The human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Equal civil partnerships are a simple matter of equality. In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. Some opposite-sex couples don’t like the sexist history and connotations of marriage. They’d prefer a civil partnership. To deny them that option is discrimination.”

The hearing is due to last two days at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. An online petition in favour of expanding civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples has so far attracted more than 33,000 signatures.

Amy Dyer is a Chartered Legal Executive based in the Tozers solicitors in Exeter, Devon and comments: “As a team that assists many separating cohabiting couples who do not have the same extensive rights and protections on separation as those who are married or civil partners, we welcome any change that may afford greater security generally to couples. There are other ways to protect your property and assets if you are unmarried or not in a civil partnership, including entering into a Cohabitation Agreement. We would be happy to discuss this with you”.


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