August 6, 2015

The Sunday Times – Marriage of Equals

23 July 2015

We were really pleased to read ‘Unmarried couples: it’s make your mind up time, before a law does it for you.’ As the steering group of the campaign for Equal Civil Partnerships, we are all too aware of the pitfalls that cohabitating couples can face, and like Jenny McCartney, we see absolutely no reason why heterosexual couples should be denied civil partnerships. That’s why we’re calling on the government to extend the right to civil partnerships to all couples, regardless of sex or sexual orientation. A Private Members Bill calling for an amendment to the current legislation (which prohibits opposite-sex couples from accessing civil partnerships) is scheduled for 21 October, and a Judicial Review will also be taking place this autumn.

While Baron Marks of Henley-on-Thames’s Cohabitation Bill would give long-term co-habiting couples a number of limited rights automatically, civil partnerships would offer (for those couples who want it) a modern social institution conferring almost identical legal rights as marriage, but without its historical baggage, often out-dated gender roles and social expectations.

Simply extending the right to civil partnerships to all couples would give many families, including some of ours, greater security and stability and put an end to this strange anomaly in the law which is currently undermining equality in the UK.

 

Charles Keidan

Martin Loat

Fiona Millar

Gemma Mortensen

Dr. Rebecca Steinfeld

Peter Tatchell

Professor Robert Wintemute

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