Heterosexual couple lose Court of Appeal battle to enter into civil partnership

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have lost their Court of Appeal battle to enter into a Civil Partnership.

The couple took their case to the Court of Appeal following their High Court defeat last year, which met with widespread media coverage.

They challenged the High Court judgment which ruled that they could not have a civil partnership because they did not meet the legal requirements. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 requires that partners be “two people of the same sex”. The couple argued that this was discriminatory.

Uptake of civil partnerships has dropped sharply since same-sex marriage was introduced in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014.

Vardags barrister John Oxley had this to say:

“This Appeal appears to have been decided on a knife-edge. All three judges accepted that the current situation was a discriminatory imposition on the couple’s human rights, but Lord Justices Beatson and Briggs held that the current government policy of taking further time to consider the future of civil partnerships was sufficient justification of that breach. Lady Justice Arden did not.

It is clear from the judgment that something must change. Once the government has had adequate time to review its policy then we may see civil partnerships extended to all, or else consigned to history and abolished altogether.”

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