‘Govt must act on civil partnership injustice’

A woman who has lived with her sister for most of her life has railed against the “injustice” of tax laws which punish people in family circumstances like hers.

Catherine Utley highlights that she and her sister Virginia would not be exempt from inheritance tax if one of them was to die – unlike couples in a civil partnership.

The surviving sister could be forced to sell their London home in order to cope with the financial burden.


In a comment piece for the Daily Mail last week, Catherine said it is time for the Government to use civil partnership legislation to address the injustice that “disgracefully remains unaddressed”.

Ministers could have extended tax exemptions to people in long-term platonic relationships during the passage of civil partnerships and same-sex marriage legislation but failed to address the issue each time.

Catherine believes that the Government now has an opportunity to do so through a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Lords.

Conservative Peer Lord Lexden’s Bill would extend the right to form a civil partnership to siblings over the age of 30 who have lived together for twelve consecutive years or more.

Platonic love

She wrote: “If the Government believes platonic love is somehow inferior to sexual love outside of marriage and must be punished, then it must explain why.

“And if it cannot, it must act now to find a way to address the injustice. Feelings have been well and truly stirred.”

In 2016, Catherine and Virginia Utley told The Christian Institute their story. Watch our interview with them in the video below.

Related Resources