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Rebecca Delaney
Rebecca Delaney
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Opposite-sex civil partnerships in England and Wales? Let's wait and see
Date:2 NOV 2017

Ruth's article examines the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal in Steinfeld and Keidan v Secretary of State for Education [2016] EWHC 128 (Admin) and [2017] EWCA Civ 81 which concerned the right of opposite-sex couples to form civil partnerships.

The claim failed in both courts and the Civil Partnership Act (Amendment) Bill 2016-17, which proposed extending civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples, lapsed due to the dissolution of Parliament. The status quo will thus be retained for the time being at least. 

This article considers the consequences of preserving civil partnerships as a same-sex institution in the light of recent developments, such as the publication of data regarding the uptake of civil partnerships since same-sex marriage was legalised and the introduction of mixed-sex partnerships in the Isle of Man. It concludes that civil partnerships should be retained, as they remain the relationship of choice for many same-sex couples and should be extended to opposite-sex couples in order to provide the latter with the same options as same-sex couples, but also to avoid a series of problems discussed in the article.


The full version of this article appear in the November 2017 issue of Family Law

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