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Government under growing pressure to lift ban on civil partnerships for heterosexual couples

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The Government is under increasing pressure to review legislation which prevents heterosexual couples from entering into civil partnerships, after it was presented with a petition signed by over 70,000 people last week.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening were among the petition’s 71,410 signatories. The document was presented just two weeks after the Government suggested that it had seen a ‘lack of evidence’ that the current ‘ban’ on heterosexual civil partnerships should be lifted.

London resident Mr Charles Keidan, who has been at the centre of a long-running legal battle to obtain the right to enter into a civil partnership with his partner, Ms Rebecca Steinfeld, commented: “Last week the Government said it did not have enough evidence that civil partnerships for mixed-sex couples would be popular. So here we are today, removing any doubt from their minds.

“We really don’t want to have to continue battling for something that, to us, seems so simple and so right – giving all couples the right to get legal and financial protection in a way that they feel comfortable with”.

Civil partnerships offer equal legal treatment to marriage for both partners in matters of inheritance, pensions, tax and next-of-kin arrangements – but are currently only available to same-sex couples in the UK.

Mr Keidan, 40, and Rebecca Steinfeld, 35, will take their case to the Court of Appeal next month, following a defeat at the High Court in January.

Mr Keidan said: “We want the Government to embrace the change, not be forced into it.

“One way and one day we are sure the change will be made.”