The Supreme Court has ruled that a heterosexual couple do have the right to a civil partnership instead of marriage. Following a rejection of the claim by the Court of Appeal last year, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan appealed to the Supreme Court claiming that the judgment against them was discriminatory.

The ruling by the Supreme Court was unanimous with all five Justices declaring that the ban preventing the couple from entering into a civil partnership was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore amounted to discrimination.

Sarah Harding, senior associate in B P Collins’ family team, commented:

“Whilst the Supreme Court has declared that the law is incompatible with Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan’s human rights, the judgment has not actually changed the law. That is Parliament’s job and all eyes now turn to the government, and to Parliament, to see what will happen next. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Parliament do. 

“It would seem there are two options: either to extend civil partnerships to different sex couples, or to abolish future civil partnerships altogether. Either option would end the discrimination which currently exists, however the second option is probably not the result Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan are hoping for.”

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