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A matter of equal choice

It was not so long ago that same-sex couples were fighting for civil partnerships and marriage rights, but now heterosexual couples want those same choices, writes Kate Johnson

23 November 2016

As I write, the Court of Appeal is hearing the appeal of London couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan against a High Court judgment from January 2016 dismissing their application for judicial review of civil partnerships being available to only same-sex couples.

Following the introduction of same-sex marriage in 2014, same-sex couples now have the choice between a civil partnership and a marriage, but opposite-sex couples have only marriage available to them. Steinfeld and Keidan brought their case on the grounds of inequality and are appealing the High Court’s judgment after an online petition attracted 70,000 signatures in support of civil partnerships being available to all.

As the High Court’s judgment highlights, the government has not been inactive in considering the impact on civil partnerships of the extension of marriage to same-sex couples. It con...

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