Civil part­ner­ships to be opened to het­ero­sex­u­als

The Guardian Weekly - - Global report -

Ev­ery cou­ple in Eng­land and Wales will soon be able to choose be­tween a civil part­ner­ship and mar­riage when they for­malise their re­la­tion­ship.

End­ing months of un­cer­tainty fol­low­ing de­feat in the supreme court, the gov­ern­ment has agreed to ex­tend civil part­ner­ships – avail­able to same-sex cou­ples since 2005 – to ev­ery­one. In a state­ment at the Con­ser­va­tive party con­fer­ence, Theresa May said she would end the ban on het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples en­ter­ing civil part­ner­ships. Equal­ity cam­paign­ers wel­comed the move, but warned that com­mis­sion­ing a con­sul­ta­tion would im­pose an un­nec­es­sary de­lay.

The gov­ern­ment had been due to re­spond to a rul­ing in June that it was dis­crim­i­na­tory to re­strict civil part­ner­ships to gay cou­ples. Jus­tices at the UK’s high­est court unan­i­mously found in favour of Re­becca Ste­in­feld and Charles Kei­dan, and de­clared their hu­man rights had been breached.

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