Should civil partnerships only be for same sex couples?

The Isle of Man already allow it, but should civil partnerships be available to opposite-sex couples?

In 2004, The Civil Partnership Act allowed same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into a civil partnership, as an alternative to marriage which was not allowed at that time.

In 2013 same-sex marriage was legalised, allowing gay couples to now choose whether to enter into a civil partnership or marriage. However, whilst the choice is now available to same-sex couples, mixed-sex couples are unable to enter into a civil partnership.

There are many reasons why they would like to do so, as not all couples want to take the traditional route of marriage. According to the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign, there are almost three million opposite sex couples living together in the UK, and almost four in ten of them have dependent children. A lot of people assume those people have ‘common law marriages’ and have rights over children and property protection, but there is actually no such provision in law. For these couples there are no legal rights to pensions or couples-inheritance tax allowances.

Earlier this year the High court ruled against a legal challenge by Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan to be allowed to enter into a Civil Partnership. Tomorrow, their appeal against that decision will be heard in the High Court.

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