The Inequality Of Civil Partnerships

The first opposite-sex civil partnership was celebrated in the Isle of Man recently between Adeline Cosson and Kieran Hodgson. They said they wanted to 'keep it simple' rather than have a traditional wedding and that, although they do want to marry one day, it is not what they want now. Whilst the Isle of Man is a Crown Dependency, it is not part of the UK and has different laws. It is the only place in the British Isles which allows and recognises opposite-sex civil partnerships.

The right to enter into opposite-sex civil partnerships has been a hot topic since the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK in 2014. Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were not abolished when the right to marry was legalised, so whilst same-sex couples can now choose to either marry or enter into a civil partnership, opposite-sex couples do not have the choice.

When same-sex marriage was introduced there was a campaign for a change in the law to allow heterosexual couples to enter in civil partnerships. However, despite a 2012 Government consultation in which 61% of about 200,000 respondents said civil partnerships should be available to opposite-sex couples, the Government said that a subsequent consultation led to no consensus and no change to the law was made.

It is clear that there is an appetite for a change in the law with many opposite-sex couples wanting to enter into civil partnership rather than marrying, or at least have a choice. Many feel they do not want to be labelled a 'wife' or 'husband' and feel that civil partnership reflects the equality in their relationship. The strength of feeling is so strong for some that one couple have sought a judicial review of the Governments' decision and, whilst they lost in the High Court, the Court of Appeal is expected to hear the case in November. Another London based couple have been so determined to enter into their own civil partnership that they travelled to the Isle of Man last week to do so. This is despite the fact that their union is unlikely...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT