Opposite sex civil partnerships

You may also have seen in the paper a report in relation to this case, where a heterosexual couple challenged the reasons why they could not enter into a civil partnership. Same sex couples have the choice of entering into either a civil partnership or into marriage.

The reason they wanted to challenge this is that they wish to formalize their relationship but they had deep routed and genuine ideological objections to marriage based on what they considered to be its historically patriarchal nature. They considered that the status of civil partnership would project their values and give due recognition to the equal nature of their relationship. However, their request to be allowed to enter into a civil partnership was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. This was because of the wish of the Secretary of State to have further time to undertake a proper assessment of the best way forward. However, all of the judges were critical of the status quo. They all agreed that the couple were being treated differently because of their sexual orientation and this impacted on their private and family life. Therefore, hopefully the Secretary of State will reconsider her position, but I understand that an appeal to the Supreme Court is already being prepared. The Secretary of State’s current policy is that she will not propose any change to the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 until she has statistical data about whether the number of same sex couples choosing or remaining in civil partnership rises and falls, following the introduction of same sex marriage.