05:17, February 21 403 0 theguardian.com

2017-02-21 05:17:09
Court rules against heterosexual couple who wanted civil partnership

Heterosexual couples should not be allowed to enter into civil partnerships with one another, the court of appeal has ruled.

The decision follows a three-year legal campaign by two Londoners, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who reject traditional marriage on the grounds that it is a “sexist” and “patriarchal” institution.

Denying them the right to enter into a civil partnership – a choice open to same-sex couples – was discriminatory, they had argued.

Keidan and Steinfeld lost by a majority on two to one in the appeal court judgment.

All three judges, Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Briggs and Lord Justice Beatson, agreed that the discrimination against heterosexual couples could not last indefinitely.

Only Arden said the government needed to change the law immediately. The other two judges effectively said ministers can have longer to review the situation.

Louise Whitfield, from the law firm Deighton Peirce Glynn who represented the couple, said: “This is very frustrating. It was such a narrow win for the government.

“They all agreed that the government was living on borrowed time and that there had been a potential violation of their rights.

“Lady Justice Arden said that the government had run out of time already. The other two judges, however, allowed the government a bit more time to consider the issue.”

The Isle of Man is the only part of the British Isles that currently offers heterosexual couples the opportunity to enter into civil partnerships.

More details soon …