February 1, 2018

Campaign responds to reports of Government u-turn on civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples

The Campaign for Equal Civil Partnerships says:  The current situation that allows some couples to choose between marriage and civil partnership while others can’t is manifestly unfair, unpopular and makes families less secure.  

 We are pleased that the Government, Opposition, Lib Dem and Green parties have all signalled that they will support Tim Loughton MP’s Civil Partnerships, Marriages & Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill tomorrow (Friday 2nd February) at second reading.

We welcome the commitment in the bill “to bring about equality between same-sex couples and other couples in terms of their future ability or otherwise to form civil partnerships.”

We note with concern, however, that equality can be achieved in one of two ways: by extending civil partnerships to all or abolishing civil partnerships for same-sex couples.  With the number of same-sex civil partnerships increasing by 3.4% in the past year, many in the LGBT community would quite rightly be outraged by the latter option.

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, who are challenging the Government in the Supreme Court, later this year, over the current inequality, say: “We have been overwhelmed by the level of support for our campaign to provide access to legal and financial protection to the 3.3 million unmarried cohabiting couples in the UK who stand to benefit.”

“We call on the Government to rule out now the option of the abolition of same-sex civil partnerships and to use Tim Loughton’s bill to legislate as matter of urgency to extend civil partnerships to all.”

“Until the Government does, we will continue to fight for equality and civil partnerships for all in Parliament and through the courts.”

The Campaign welcomes the statement by leading Human Rights Campaigner, Peter Tatchell, that:“Any attempt by the Government to abolish civil partnerships in the name of equality will be greeted with dismay by the LGBT community and provoke an almighty backlash. It will do catastrophic damage to relations between the Conservative party and LGBT people.”