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.


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Press contacts:

Mark Harrop

Senior Associate

Collyer Bristow

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7242 7363

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