PRESS RELEASE: Supreme Court rules that it is discriminatory to deny civil partnerships to straight couples

27 Jun 2018

Steinfeld and Keidan v Secretary of State for International Development – 27 June 2018

Heterosexual couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have won their claim at the UK’s highest court that they have suffered discrimination for being denied a civil partnership.

Mark Harrop, a Senior Associate in the family law team at Collyer Bristow LLP said: This decision will change things for very few people. To many it will seem pointless to have two formal forms of relationship that differ in name only.”

“If the government wants to help the three million unmarried cohabiting couples in the UK, it should look at granting automatic rights to cohabitants or creating a new formal relationship with different rights altogether.”

“The story of the LGBT community’s fight for acceptance and recognition is long and traumatic. Civil partnerships were no more than a concession along that road, offering the rights and benefits of marriage but not allowed to carry that name.”

“While it is of course right that gay and straight people shouldn’t be treated differently, for straight couples to complain that they don’t want to get married because they object to the name sounds like a first-world problem.”

Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan complain that it is discriminatory that gay couples have a choice between marriage and civil partnerships whereas straight couples can only choose marriage.

ENDS


About Collyer Bristow

  1. Collyer Bristow LLP is a London-based law firm providing a comprehensive range of advisory, transactional and litigation services to commercial organisations and wealthy individuals and families. 

  2. The firm’s highly experienced lawyers provide expert legal advice in corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property, private wealth (including reputation management), and real estate services.

  3. The firm and many of its individual lawyers are ranked in both Chambers and the Legal 500 directories.

  4. The firm has an office in Geneva which supports its private wealth and international practices.

  5. The firm has been championing emerging talent in contemporary art for twenty five years. It supports and promotes artists through its in-house art gallery and independently curated exhibition programme.


Press contacts:

Mark Harrop

Senior Associate

Collyer Bristow

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7242 7363

Additional information