October 26, 2018
A Private Members Bill by Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, which would ultimately extend civil partnerships to all, has completed its passage through the House of Commons and will now be considered by Peers.
An amendment to his own Bill by Mr Loughton, which was also carried, will now require the Government to “make regulations to bring about equality between same-sex couples and other couples” within six months of it becoming law. This means that civil partnerships are set to be extended to all by Autumn 2019.
Martin Loat, the Chair of the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign, said:
“We welcome the progress of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill today. We congratulate and thank Tim Loughton MP for his championing of equal civil partnerships and his determination to hold the Government’s “feet to the fire”. There can be no further excuse to keep couples waiting and I call on the Government now to ensure that this Bill becomes law as quickly as possible.”
Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, the couple who successfully challenged the Government in the Supreme Court in June, added:
“Many people will be surprised that we still waiting for the opportunity to have our civil partnership five months after the Supreme Court ruled in our favour and a month after the Prime Minister made a personal commitment to open up civil partnerships to all. Now the Government has a mechanism and timeline to legislate, so we – and the millions of other couples in our situation – can celebrate.”
The Bill is now expected to go to the House of Lords in the next couple of months and to become law in the Spring, after which the Government will have six months to draw up the detailed regulations for the introduction of civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples.