The Civil Partnership Act 2004 in the UK sanctioned the lawful union same sex couples; equality for same sex couples was finally achieved with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. The latter act has not replaced civil partnerships, but rather allows same sex couples the choice of civil partnerships or marriage.
However, a heterosexual couple, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, have launched a legal challenge against the ban on members of the opposite sex entering into civil partnerships.
The 2004 Civil Partnership Act stipulates that only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships.
Dr Rebecca Steinfeld told reporters that “it just seems so logical and reasonable that any social institution in a democratic society should be open to anybody…A civil partnership is a much more accurate reflection of how we see each other and our relationship, in a way that being a husband and a wife just would not mesh.”
Mr Keidan observed: “As a long-term cohabiting couple we want the protections under law that are currently denied to us because we’re not choosing marriage.”
The High Court in London is expected to rule on the ban in the New Year.