Heterosexual couple win right to civil partnership

A British couple have won the right to have a civil partnership in a landmark case



The Supreme Court said the Civil Partnership Act 2004 - which only applies to same-sex couples - is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.


Couple Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, from London have won their legal bid to a civil partnership, rather than a marriage. 



Steinfeld and Keidan, who met in 2010, said the "legacy of marriage" which "treated women as property for centuries" was not an option for them. 


"We want to raise our children as equal partners and feel that a civil partnership - a modern, symmetrical institution - sets the best example for them," they explained to the BBC.



“This is a victory for love and equality," said LGBT and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell on hearing the news.  


"It was never right to deny opposite-sex couples the option of having a civil partnership. In a democracy, we are all supposed to be equal before the law.


"It is wonderful news that the Supreme Court has ruled against the government and in favour of equal civil partnerships.”


Tatchell had supported Rebecca Steinfeld’s and Charles Keidan from the outset of their legal challenge in 2014.


Indeed, he championed the right of opposite-sex couples to have a civil partnership from the moment Tony Blair’s government announced in 2003 that the option would be available to same-sex couples only, condemning it as “blatant discrimination based on sexual orientation.”



Speaking about today’s victory in the Supreme Court, he continued:


“The ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships was discrimination and a violation of human rights. It is outrageous that the government was unwilling to legislate equality and that this couple were forced to go to court to get a basic human right - the right to be treated equally in law.


“It was never fair that same-sex couples had two options, civil partnerships and civil marriages, whereas opposite-sex partners had only one option, marriage."



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