Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples

A heterosexual couple have recently won a landmark legal right to enter into a civil partnership as an alternative to getting married.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 in order to provide same-sex couples with the same legal protection and security that a marriage provides for heterosexual couples. However, in March 2014, same-sex couples were given the right to choose between entering into a civil partnership or marriage. This has led to campaigners arguing that heterosexual couples should have the reciprocal right to enter into civil partnerships.

Why enter into a civil partnership?

Some people believe that marriage has religious connotations and therefore feel uncomfortable with the notion of entering into a marriage. A civil partnership would allow for a heterosexual couple to obtain the legal protections of a marriage without having to compromise their beliefs.

What are the legal ramifications?

For both same-sex and heterosexual couples, equality in law was achieved when the Civil Partnership Act was introduced in 2005 and both types of union hold the same essential benefits and protections.  Therefore, following today’s Supreme Court ruling, there will be no advantages or disadvantages for  heterosexual couples in deciding  to enter into civil partnership rather than a marriage.