London Assembly votes unanimously to back mixed-sex civil partnerships
November 2, 2016
November 2, 2016
The London Assembly has unanimously passed a motion backing the extension of civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples. This vote has been welcomed by the Equal Civil Partnerships who said it sends a “powerful message” and urged the government to follow the lead being set by City Hall by extending civil partnerships.
As it stands although marriage is available to all couples civil partnerships are restricted to same-sex couples. In January this year London couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan went to the High Court seeking to lift the ban on different-sex civil partnerships. Their appeal is being heard today.
Since the couple went to court in January 70,000 people have signed a petition calling for civil partnerships to be extended to mixed-sex couples and MPs from all parties have given their backing to the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign which has been set up to support Charles and Rebecca.
The motion to the London Assembly was presented by Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell and backed by the Liberal Democrat’s Caroline Pidgeon. It follows the lead set by the London Assembly in 2000 when the body introduced same-sex partnership registration before civil partnerships came into law. The motion now goes to the Mayor Sadiq Khan for final approval.
Caroline Russell AM said:
“Whatever the outcome of the case currently being heard by the Court of Appeal we should be unequivocal in our support for different-sex couples forming civil partnerships.
“For true equality the law should properly reflect the values modern couples hold, and their desire to have these principles reflected in the legal recognition of their relationships.
“London is a forward-facing city and we should not hesitate to push for this next step to provide a legal alternative to marriage.”
Matt Hawkins, Campaign Manager for the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign, said:
“In voting to support the extension of civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples the London Assembly has sent a powerful message to the government and has followed in the trailblazing footsteps this Assembly set back in 2000 when it introduced same-sex partnership registration. It adds to the amazing groundswell of support our campaign now has from MPs and MEPs of all parties, from our 71,000 petition supporters, and from organisations like Liberty and the Women’s Budget Group. We hope that the government now does the right thing, listens to the voices of the Assembly and the London Mayor and gives mixed-sex couples the right to the financial and legal protections that a civil partnerships offers.”