News | Legal News

23 August 2017

Heterosexual couple begin civil partnership battle

A man and woman who want to be recognised as a civil partnership are taking their fight to the Supreme Court.

West London couple, Rebecca Steinfeld, 36, and 40-year-old Charles Keidan, cannot be recognised under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 as the law states only same-sex couples are eligible.

The couple believe the Government's position is "incompatible with equality law" and have now been granted permission for their case to be heard at the UK's highest court, according to a statement from the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign.

The academics from Hammersmith were defeated at the Court of Appeal in February, but have continued their plight insisting there is still "everything to fight for".

Ms Steinfeld, who has one child with Mr Keidan and another on the way, says they are not comfortable with the constraints of traditional marriage and their fight is about obtaining financial and legal protection for themselves, their family and millions of others in the same position.

"What started out as a personal effort to become civil partners has taken on wider significance as we realised that as many as 3.3 million co-habiting couples are affected by the status quo," she continued.

Thousands of people have signed a petition to back the couple's campaign.

The pair say they are confident they have a "sound" case to enact the change.

"We hope the Supreme Court will deliver a judgment that will finally provide access to civil partnerships for thousands of families across the country," Ms Steinfeld added.

Sue Andrews, partner in the family law team at B P Collins comments: "Civil partnerships were introduced before same sex marriage was possible - this was to give the same rights as marriage. It still involved a ceremony and a formal commitment. 

"The right answer would be for parliament to repeal the Civil Partnership Act 2004 since its unnecessary now.

"If the Supreme Court does decided that this is discriminatory and that hetro sexual couples should be permitted to enter into civil partnerships, it doesn’t mean that they will do so. The couple could after all marry in a registry office."

Sue Andrews

Sue Andrews

Tel: 01753 279046

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