July 4, 2018
After the landmark victory at the Supreme Court on 27 June 2018, both Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan made statements to the waiting press and well-wishers.
Well, we have won our legal battle!
The highest court in the land has stated, unequivocally and unanimously – five, nil – that there is no, and never has been any, justification for what they call a ‘manifest inequality of treatment.’
Thank you to our formidable legal team: our solicitor Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn, and Karon Monaghan and Sarah Hannett of Matrix Chambers. This resounding victory would not have been possible without them.
Today, we are a step closer to opening civil partnerships to all, a measure that would be fair, popular and good for families and children across
We are elated, but to get this far, Charlie and I have had to go toe-to-toe with the Government over four long years, confronting four Equalities Ministers across three courts. They have wasted taxpayers’ money to defend and maintain a blatant inequality. So please forgive us if today, alongside the satisfaction we feel, we also feel a degree of sorrow and frustration at the delays, obstruction and official resistance we’ve experienced.
People are already suffering because of the Government’s delays.
Joanna and Steve are a different-sex couple with three grown up children. Like us, they want to formalise their relationship in a civil partnership. But Steve has terminal cancer, so time is running out.
Today’s Declaration of Incompatibility from the Supreme Court means that the Government is legally bound to end the difference in treatment between same-sex and different-sex couples’ access to civil partnerships, most likely by extending them to all or by abolishing them.
Human rights law is meant to work progressively, giving everyone the same advantages, not the same disadvantages. The Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt MP, has already publicly assured the UK’s leading LGBT organisation, Stonewall, that civil partnerships will be retained for same-sex couples.
Therefore, there is only one option: to extend civil partnerships to all.
For the sake of Joanna and Steve, and thousands of other couples across the country, we hope that the Government will act with urgency.
It is within their power – and indeed it is their duty – to do so.
So we say to Ms. Mordaunt: Please use the “fast-track amendment procedure” in Article 10 to take remedial action now or back Tim Loughton’s original Private Members Bill.
You can be the minister that completes the circle of full relationship equality. Please seize this historic opportunity.
We wouldn’t be in the position we are today without the encouragement and support we’ve received from people across the UK.
Gathered here are a small number of the 132,000 of you who have signed our Change.org petition. We are so happy to be standing alongside you. Thank you for sharing with us your personal stories. They have kept us going through the long journey to this resounding victory.
Special thanks go to the campaign steering group who have stuck together and been with us all the way through the highs and lows.
Today we’ve won in court and we are celebrating this major and hopefully defining milestone! But the fight for civil partnerships doesn’t end here. It can and must go on unless and until civil partnerships are extended to all couples. So please continue to back the campaign for Equal Civil Partnerships on GoFundMe.
The law is on our side. Now the Government must join us in doing the right thing. Open civil partnerships to all.
Thank you for your support.