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Politics – Heterosexual partnerships

April 2017

Civil partnerships for heterosexuals — which were estimated to cost the taxpayer billions — have been blocked by the Court of Appeal in London.

Judges ruled against Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, the couple who brought the expensive action, who claimed they had rejected the ‘sexist trappings’ of marriage and wanted heterosexual civil partnerships.

The couple have been engaged in a legal battle on the issue since 2014, and said they lost the latest appeal on a technicality. They have claimed they plan to take their case to the Supreme Court.

Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute, welcomed the ruling in February, saying it had prevented further undermining of marriage by refusing to introduce a ‘marriage-lite’.

Mr Hart added the issue only arose because of the government’s decision to redefine marriage in 2014, allowing same-sex marriages. This has opened up the prospect of legal challenges. Dr Sharon James, speaking for the Coalition for Marriage, said civil partnerships simply do not offer the same level of commitment as marriage.

In the UK, civil partnerships have been available exclusively to same-sex couples since 2004, granting them all the legal rights of married couples. In 2014, same-sex marriage was legalised in England, Scotland and Wales, meaning homosexuals had the choice of either marriage or a civil partnership.

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