Straight couple win the right to have civil partnership after Supreme Court ruling

civil partnerships

The UK’s highest court has ruled that the current ban on civil partnerships for heterosexual couples is a violation of their human rights.

Rebecca Steinfeld and partner Chris Keidan applied for a civil partnership in 2014 but were turned down, as they are only open to same-sex couples.

The couple then began a lengthy campaign against the denial, arguing that the current law was discriminatory and that not all couples are comfortable with the nature of marriage, but want the economic and legal protections it brings.

Charles Keidan (C) and Rebecca Steinfeld (L) outside of the Court of Appeal (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Following a rejection from the Court of Appeal in 2017, the couple took their case for heterosexual civil partnerships to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court overturned this earlier judgement by unanimously ruling that denying civil partnerships to straight couples is “incompatible with their human rights” and the ban “amounted to discrimination.”

Their ruling said: “The interests of the community in denying those different-sex couples who have a genuine objection to being married, the opportunity to enter into a civil partnership are unspecified and not easy to envisage.

“In contrast, the denial of those rights for an indefinite period may have far-reaching consequences for those who wish to avail themselves – and who are entitled to assert them – now.”

Denying civil partnerships to heterosexual couples has been declared discriminatory (Creative Commons)

The Supreme Court judgement does not automatically force a change in the law, however, the government could act to legalise civil partnerships for heterosexual couples following the ruling.

Civil partnerships were introduced across the UK from 2004 as a form of union for gay couples ‘distinct’ from marriage.

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