04:53, June 27 172 0 theguardian.com

2018-06-27 04:53:10
UK ban on heterosexual civil partnerships ruled discriminatory

A heterosexual couple who have been denied the right to enter into a civil partnership have won their claim at the UK’s highest court that they have suffered discrimination.

Justices at the supreme court unanimously found in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan in a decision that will put pressure on the government to change the law.

The pair, from west London, who believe that the institution of marriage is patriarchal and sexist, have fought a prolonged legal campaign to open up civil partnerships to opposite sex couples.

At present heterosexual couples may only marry; same-sex couples can either marry or take up a civil partnership. Keidan and Steinfeld had lost their earlier legal challenges at both the high court and the court of appeal.

In their decision, the five supreme court justices formally declared that the ban preventing opposite-sex couples from obtaining a civil partnership was incompatible with their human rights and amounted to discrimination.

“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,” their ruling said.

“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.”

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