A UK heterosexual couple fighting for the right to enter into a civil partnership will take their case to the Court of Appeal next month, following a defeat at the High Court in January.
Academics Charles Keidan, 40 and Rebecca Steinfeld, 35, say that they have “deep-rooted” ideological objections to the institution of marriage, yet wish to secure legal recognition of their relationship by forming a civil partnership.
Such unions offer equal legal treatment to marriage for both partners in matters of inheritance, pensions, tax and next-of-kin arrangements.
However, outside of the Isle of Man, where civil partnerships were recently opened up to heterosexual couples, such unions are currently only available to same-sex couples in the UK. Those granted to heterosexual couples in the Isle of Man are not recognised in England or Wales.
In January, Mr Keiden and Ms Steinfeld argued before the High Court that the UK Government’s stance on civil partnerships under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was ”incompatible with equality law”.
A Judge dismissed their judicial review, but the couple were granted to right to challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal on grounds that it raised issues of “wider importance”.
The couple are currently preparing for their case to be heard by Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Beatson and Lord Justice Briggs at the Court of Appeal.
In a statement, Ms Steinfeld said: “We are going to the Court of Appeal on behalf of ourselves and the more than 70,000 people who have signed our petition calling for civil partnerships to be open to all.
“It’s not for the Government to dictate how couples choose to formalise their commitment, but it is for the Government to ensure all couples are financially and legally protected.”