A heterosexual couple who want the right to enter into a civil partnership together have lost their legal battle in the British Court of Appeal.
Rebecca Steinfeld, 35, and Charles Keidan, 40, object to the “patriarchal baggage” associated with marriage, but still want legal recognition of their seven-year relationship.
As it stands, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 says only same-sex couples are eligible.
The British Court of Appeal did agree they had established a potential violation of Article 14 of the European Convention – which relates to discrimination – taken with Article 8 – which refers to respect for private and family life.
But, by a majority, the judges said it was at present justified by the British government’s policy of “wait and evaluate”.
This is how the couple and their campaign team interpret the appeal loss. They say judgement shows that current law is on "borrowed time" pic.twitter.com/5duFWEopXQ— Joe Tidy (@joetidy) February 21, 2017
The couple seem to have taken certain aspects of the ruling as pretty positive. Steinfeld said: “We are pleased that today’s ruling has shown that the government must act very soon to end this unfair situation.
“All three judges agreed that we’re being treated differently because of our sexual orientation, and that this impacts our private and family life.
“All three rejected the argument that we could ‘just get married’.”
She added: “We lost on a technicality, that the government should be allowed a little more time to make a decision. So there’s everything to fight for, and much in the ruling that gives us reason to be positive and keep going.”
And they’re not alone in thinking it’s time for change.
This is really starting to grate. There is clearly demand for legal protections for couples without full questionable theatre of marriage.— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) February 21, 2017
Many reasons why straight couples would favour civil partnership over 'marriage'. Denying them the option is wrong "Court of Appeal"— Jethro (@Buzzard_Stubble) February 21, 2017
Disappointed that the Court of Appeal ruled against Rebecca and Charles. Labour should continue advocating for parity in civil partnerships.— Matti Colley #FBPE (@matti_colley) February 21, 2017
Though some people definitely don’t agree.
Seems bizarre that Court of Appeal say heterosexual couple can't have civil partnership. But really, why do they actually care?— Joe Ⓥ (@floppy_donkeys) February 21, 2017