Court of Appeal kicks Civil Partnerships down the road

The Court of Appeal today rejected a case arguing for the introduction of mixed-sex civil partnerships.

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld brought the case arguing that they were being discriminated against on the grounds of sex, as a same-sex couple would be allowed the choice of marriage or civil partnership.

A previous court ruling allowed that civil partnerships should remain as they are, while the government sees whether there is still any demand for them after the marriage law reform of 2013.

Politically there is not much pressure – mixed-sex civil partnerships were in the original bill more than ten years ago but were removed by the Labour government before pressing ahead with the legislation, and during the Conservative / Lib Dem coalition the Liberals’ proposal for marriage and civil partnership to be opened up regardless of gender lost its civil partnership reforms as neither Labour nor Conservative MPs would give it their support.

However – even if we only look at the figures excluding Northern Ireland (where same-sex marriage is still not allowed) – there are still a steady rate of same-sex civil partnership registrations. How much longer can the courts keep kicking the can down the road before forcing the government to act?