Civil partnerships to be opened to heterosexuals
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.