Civil Partnerships back in court

The battle for Civil Partnerships moves to the Supreme Court today – as campaigners bid for the institution to be opened up to mixed-gender couples.

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld have been making their way through the courts putting a case arguing that they are being discriminated against on the grounds of sex, as a same-sex couple would be allowed the choice of marriage or civil partnership.

Mixed-sex civil partnerships were in the original civil partnership bill more than ten years ago but were removed by the Labour government before pressing ahead with the legislation. 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.

Thus far the courts have rejected it too, on the basis that civil partnerships might be abolished in favour of marriage. But with Northern Ireland blocking marriage equality civil partnerships may be around longer than anyone thought.