Equal rights for all couples: Civil Partnerships may be available to opposite-sex couples
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that civil partnerships should now be available to all couples, even those who are of the opposite sex.
Civil partnerships were introduced in 2008, before same sex couples were allowed to marry. By entering into a civil partnership, the parties are legally recognised as a significant person in each others’ lives and can be treated as next-of-kin, and they can inherit assets on the death of the other.
Since then, same sex couples have also been given the right to marry, so now they have the option of a civil partnership or a marriage, but opposite sex couples only have the option of marriage.
In the case concluded yesterday, Rebecca Steinfeld and her partner Charles Keidan sought a judicial review to confirm that civil partnerships should be made available to heterosexual couples.The Supreme Court has unanimously agreed with them by finding that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Government will now have to consider whether to change the law to make civil partnerships open to all couples. The pressure will be on!