Heterosexual civil partnership rejected by High Court
By Nicola Furmston
A heterosexual couple have lost their case for the right to enter into a civil partnership instead of marriage.
The couple wanted an arrangement that focussed on equality and did not have patriarchal associations. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 gave same sex couples the ability to formalise their relationship in the absence of marriage but same sex marriage became legal in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014, giving same sex couples the right to a civil partnership or marriage.
The couple argued that this was discriminatory but the High Court disagreed, saying that civil marriage was egalitarian and open to them. It added that different treatment of gay and opposite-sex couples didn’t infringe the right to a private and family life enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
The government has stated that given time civil partnerships are likely to be phased out.
Nicola Furmston is a solicitor and head of the Family team at Barker Gotelee.