Civil partnership challenge fails

The legal challenge to the bar on mixed-sex civil partnerships has been defeated in court.

As we reported last week Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld brought the case, arguing the current situation with marriage and civil partnership law constitutes unlawful discrimination.

Marriage is now open to mixed-sex or same-sex couples, while civil partnerships – though the initial House of Lords bill did not discriminate – were in the end legislated as solely for same-sex partners.

This creates a peculiar anomaly. As you may remember, public consultation under the last government suggested opposition to mixed-sex civil partnerships, and David Cameron declared himself against any extension of civil partnerships. However there are some bisexual and heterosexual people who would like to have that as an alternative to “traditional” marriage.

The government’s successful defence of the case rested on the availability of marriage to mixed-sex couples and the possibility that civil partnerships might be scrapped in the future given the trend toward marriage in preference to civil partnership among same-sex couples.