OPPOSITE-SEX couples are prohibited from forming a civil partnership. Following the introduction of same-sex marriage, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was not extended to opposite-sex couples, resulting in the unusual position that English law permits same-sex couples access to two relationship forms (marriage and civil partnership) yet limits opposite-sex couples to one (marriage). This discrimination was recently challenged in the courts by an opposite-sex couple, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who wish to enter a civil partnership owing to their deeply-rooted ideological opposition to marriage. Rejecting marriage as a patriarchal institution and believing that a civil partnership would offer a more egalitarian public expression of their relationship, the couple argued that the current ban constitutes a breach of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Hayward, A. (2017). Justifiable Discrimination - The Case of Opposite-Sex Civil Partnerships. Cambridge Law Journal, 76(2), 243-246. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0008197317000502