Civil partnerships to be introduced for heterosexual couples in England and Wales
Mixed-sex couples can now take their pick between a marriage and a civil partnership
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced proposals for couples in England and Wales to be able to make the choice between a civil partnership and getting married.
The government says this will provide couples and their families an opportunity for greater security.
It will also readjust the imbalance and breach of the European Convention on Human Rights after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of Londoners Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, who fought a legal battle to have a civil partnership in July.
Civil partnerships were created in 2004 to provide same-sex couples with a legal union that offered similar legal and financial protection to a marriage, prior to the legalisation of gay marriage. Under the current system, same-sex couples do not have the option of a civil partnership.
Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt promises that the new ruling will happen "as swiftly as possible".
Once legislation is introduced, same-sex couples will now be able to enter into a civil partnership without the religious component that a marriage carries, as well as avoiding the legacy of marriage that the couple describes as treating "women as property for centuries".
Scotland is likely to follow England and Wales in the move, with their government currently carrying out a consultation in introducing similar legislation.
Great news that the Government has promised to extend civil partnerships to all. We literally can’t wait. Please set your date to legislate, so we can set our dates to celebrate! @theresa_may @PennyMordaunt @sajidjavid @EqualCPs #equalcivilpartnerships #equallove pic.twitter.com/rLNYmsO3oZ
— Dr Rebecca Steinfeld (@beccasteinfeld) October 2, 2018