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Supreme Court to hear civil partnership dispute

View profile for Lisa Collins
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Earlier this year, in March, I wrote about a London couple who were denied their wish to enter into a civil partnership rather than a marriage because they did not meet the requirement of being the same sex. Their appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeal but, true to their word, the couple has continued to fight and the UK’s highest Court, the Supreme Court, has now agreed to hear the case.

The Court of Appeal has decided the current law, which only permits same sex couples (and not heterosexual couples) to enter into a civil partnership, is discriminatory and a breach of the Human Rights Convention.

So what will happen next? The couple is presumably hoping the Court will allow heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships, but this is not the only option. Civil partnerships were first introduced for same sex couples as they were not permitted to enter into marriage. This has now changed and same sex couples can now marry; the Supreme Court may, therefore, take the view there is no longer a need for civil partnerships.

I suspect it will be a little while before any decision is made, but the very fact the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case is, in my view, a step in the right direction.

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