British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the right to enter civil partnerships will now extend to opposite-sex couples.
Until today, only same-sex couples could enter into civil partnerships, leaving opposite-sex couples with marriage as the only option. Opposite-sex couples living together did not have the same rights as married couples or same-sex couples in civil partnerships.
Just some of the rights long-term unmarried couples don’t have the same rights to include; no access to occupational pension schemes, no automatic rights to inheritance and no entitlement to tax exemptions.
But that’s all set to change after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of London couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan in June. They launched a bid in the court to be granted the right to enter into a civil partnership.
The government did not have to accept the court’s ruling and at one point considered scrapping civil partnerships altogether.
Protecting the interests of opposite-sex couples
The court ruled the Civil Partnership Act 2004 violated the European Convention on Human Rights.
‘This change in the law helps protect the interests of opposite-sex couples who want to commit, want to formalise their relationship but don’t necessarily want to get married,’ the BBC reported PM May saying today.
‘Now, by extending civil partnerships, we are making sure that all couples, be they same-sex or opposite-sex, are given the same choices in life.’
The government said data showed 3.3 millions opposite-couples live together in the UK.
Scotland’s government is also reviewing its laws after the Supreme Court decision.