02nd Nov 2016

Steinfeld & Keidan: Civil partnership appeal to be heard today

On 9 May Charlotte Symes commented in her blog on this site about the outcome of a judicial review brought by Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan. The couple sought to challenge the UK Government’s refusal to open up civil partnership to opposite sex couples following the introduction of same sex marriage. The High Court refused the application meaning that the unequal treatment of same sex couples (who have the option of marriage or civil partnership) and opposite sex couples (who have marriage as the only option) remains.

At the time of the High Court decision, Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan indicated that they would appeal. That appeal is to be heard today with judgment expected to be reserved.

In the meantime it is reported in the press that another English couple, Martin Loat and Claire Beale, have registered a civil partnership in the Isle of Man (the only place in the British Isles that allows civil partnership for opposite sex couples). Sadly their civil partnership will not be recognised in any other part of the British Isles. So, today’s appeal may have wider implications for the very many people living in the UK who have registered a civil partnership or similar scheme in the many parts of the world that allow such schemes for opposite sex couples.

We will comment more fully when the Steinfeld & Keidan judgment is made public.