- Tory MP Tim Loughton’s private members bill has put forward the change
- Government expected to back the bill during second reading in February
- Supporters claim the change will bring stability to non-married families
Heterosexual couples may be allowed to enter civil partnerships, in what would be a landmark breakthrough in securing the same legal rights for cohabiting people as those who are married.
Tory MP Tim Loughton’s private members bill has outlined changes and is expected to receive support from the government during its second reading in February.
Former children’s minister Loughton said he is ‘optimistic’ the move will be a success, while education secretary Justine Green also touted her support for it.
Former children’s minister Loughton said he is ‘optimistic’ the move will be a success, while education secretary Justine Green also touted her support for it
Speaking at a meeting of the Bright Blue think tank, Greening said ‘I am all for equality’.
The proposed changes would help stabilise families with unmarried parents. Despite only accounting for a fifth of couples, more than half of family breakdown occur in unmarried families.
The move comes as Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld take their battle to enter a civil partnership goes to the Supreme Court in May.
The couple lost their Appeal Court battle to have a civil partnership earlier this year.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan from Hammersmith, west London, argued that the Government’s position on civil partnerships was ‘incompatible with equality law’.
In November, the academics challenged High Court judge Mrs Justice Andrews’s decision to dismiss their judicial review action.
Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan said they would continue to fight
WHAT IS THE CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ACT?
The Civil Partnership Act, which was passed in 2004, states that such partnerships will provide legal rights and obligations to couples regarding children, property and pensions would be available to ‘two people of the same sex’.
It was passed after gay rights campaigners demanded legal recognition for unions between same-sex couples.
And in 2013 same-sex marriage for was legalised, in a landmark ruling, giving gay couples the right to marriage or a civil partnership.
But the former continues to be denied to heterosexual couples.