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Straight couple win right to have a civil partnership

The Supreme Court has ruled that the UK's ban on straight civil partnerships is discriminatory.

2018-06-27

A straight British couple have won their legal battle to have a civil partnership rather than a marriage.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, on Wedneaday (June 27).

The couple, from London, had challenged the ban on mixed-sex couples entering civil partnerships as outlined in the Civil Partnerships Act 2004.

The Supreme Court said that the current legislation amounts to discrimination and is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ruling overturns a judgement made by the Court of Appeal in February 2017, which rejected the Ms. Steinfeld and Mr. Keidan's claim and said that the goverment should be given more time to examine the issue.

In their judgement, the justices said the British government should have dealt with the inequality when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in 2013, by wither extending civil partnerships or abolishing them altogether.

The government, which had previously announced it would hold a full public consultation on the future issue of civil partnerships in 2020, will now have to address the issue immediately.

Veteran LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell, who had back the Ms. Steinfeld and Mr. Keidan's legal bid, welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling.

The campaign to open civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples has been backed by veteran LGBT+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

"The ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships was discrimination and a violation of human rights", he said in a statement.

"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."