First heterosexual civil partnership in British Isles takes place

A heterosexual couple has entered into a civil partnership in the first ceremony to have taken place in the British Isles.

Kieran Hodgson and Adeline Cosson held a ceremony in Douglas, on the Isle of Man, which legalised heterosexual civil partnerships in summer this year, at the same time as same-sex marriage.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004 for same-sex couples and are not available to heterosexual couples in the UK.

Legal challenge

Earlier this year, a heterosexual couple in the UK lost in their bid to enter into a civil partnership after a legal challenge at London’s High Court.

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld claimed that their human rights were being breached because same-sex couples can enter into a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage, while heterosexual couples can only get married.

But in her written judgment, Mrs Justice Andrews said the fact that homosexual couples have two options does not impinge upon the rights of heterosexuals.

The couple will appear at the Court of Appeal in November to contest the decision.

‘Marriage-lite’

The Coalition for Marriage (C4M), which campaigned against the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK, criticised the idea of heterosexual civil partnerships, arguing that they would undermine marriage because they do not require lifelong commitment.

In 2013, Campaign Director Colin Hart said: “A civil partnerships free-for-all will create two-tier marriage, with the option of marriage-lite for millions of unwed couples.”

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