Judge gives go-ahead for ‘marriage-lite’ legal case
Thu, 26 Feb 2015
A heterosexual couple who want a civil partnership have been given a green light to legally challenge the Government.
Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld do not want to get married and are calling for civil partnerships – which currently are for homosexual couples only – to be extended.
Pro-marriage group Coalition for Marriage has warned that heterosexual civil partnerships are “marriage-lite” because they involve no lifelong commitment.
The Government has previously rejected the idea, and also acknowledged that the change would cost £3-4 billion in public sector pensions alone.
However Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing has now given permission for Steinfeld and Keidan’s case to proceed.
The couple are attempting to raise money to fight the case against the Government, but have also called on equalities minister Nicky Morgan to introduce a “simple amendment” which would allow for heterosexual civil partnerships.
The pair’s solicitor, from the Deighton Pierce Glynn firm, claimed the case would affect thousands of people.
Last year, when the couple launched their civil partnership bid, Steinfeld rejected the “sexist trappings” of weddings.
“Our objection to marriage is partly to do with its history, a union in which women were exploited for their domestic and sexual services. There are still sexist trappings to weddings: there’s only space for the father to sign on the registry form”, she complained.
Steinfeld and Keidan are also supporters of same-sex marriage, and set up social media campaigns pushing for the change.
In June last year the Government rejected the idea of heterosexual civil partnerships after an online consultation.
More than 10,000 people responded to the survey, with over three quarters of them disagreeing with the idea.
At the time Colin Hart, Campaign Director of Coalition for Marriage, said such relationships, “would have undermined marriage, as civil partnerships do not require lifelong commitment”.
“Opening them up to heterosexual couples would have been very costly to the taxpayer when only a tiny minority pushed for it”, he added.