A heterosexual couple who wanted to enter a civil partnership rather than get married have provoked some serious debate over discrimination.
While same sex couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships since the Civil Partnership Act 2004, same sex couples are prevented from doing so by the same Act. The couple are both academics and have set out to change the rules so that heterosexuals couples including themselves are given an alternative to what they see as a “patriarchal” institution.
While marriage is accepted by the vast majority of opposite sex couples the current rules may be tested to the limit as other cases may be brought to the attention due to the flurry of media interest the case has brought.
The couple’s campaign for civil partnerships to be legal for opposite sex couples is being taken to a higher court to appeal the recent decision. Whether the appeal is successful depends on a number of factors not least the lack of equality. Same sex couples are free to enter civil partnerships or marriage the latter being introduced in 2013.
However the Judge said: “This is not a case where they cannot achieve formal state recognition of their relationship, with all the rights, benefits and protections that flow from such recognition; on the contrary, it is open to them to obtain that recognition by getting married” in reference to the couple’s case.