18 Jan Equal civil partnerships trial begins
On 19 and 20 January 2016, the High Court will hear our clients’ case to establish that civil partnerships unlawfully discriminate against opposite-sex couples.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan are campaigning to change the law so that they can have a civil partnership: “We are taking this case because the UK Government is barring us, and many thousands of opposite-sex couples like us, from the choice of forming a civil partnership, and we want this to change. Civil partnerships are a modern social institution conferring almost identical legal rights and responsibilities as marriage, but without its historical baggage, gendered provisions and social expectations. We don’t think there is any justification for stopping us or other opposite-sex couples from forming civil partnerships.”
The trial will focus on whether the obvious discrimination that our clients face is justified, as claimed by the Government who argue that such issues are a matter of policy. As DPG’s Louise Whitfield, the couple’s solicitor, explained: “There can be no justification for such discrimination in this context, despite the Government’s arguments that the courts should allow them leeway. My clients are significantly disadvantaged by the current position and seek to set this right for themselves and thousands of others.”
Rebecca and Charles are represented by Louise Whitfield of DPG and Karon Monaghan QC of Matrix Chambers.