Supreme Court begins hearing mixed-sex civil partnership case

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UK Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has begun hearing an appeal by a mixed-sex couple who are fighting to have a civil partnersip instead of a marriage.

London-based couple Rebecca Steinfeld, 36, and Charles Keidan, 40, lost their case at the Court of Appeal last February following a ruling that said they could not enter into a civil partnership because they were not the same sex.

Judges in the appeal court acknowledged that the prohibition may breach articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights but that the government should be given more time to determine the future of civil partnerships, in line with its policy of “wait and evaluate”.

They were granted permission last August for the appeal to the UK’s highest court.

In a statement issued today, Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan said: “Throughout our campaign we have met hundreds of couples like us who love each other and want a civil partnership so they can celebrate their commitment and strengthen the security of their family unit.

“Their reasons for not wanting to marry vary from bad personal experiences to expense to conscience - but that doesn’t matter. All they want is the choice of marriage or a civil partnership to suit them, which is currently available only to same-sex couples.

“We have a new Equalities Minister and she should take this opportunity to look afresh at the Government’s position. It’s time for the Government to stop making excuses which play with people’s lives, and give choice to all now.”