wednesday, 22 february of 2017

UK appeals court rules heterosexual couple may not enter into civil partnership

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales on Tuesday rejected a heterosexual couple's legal challenge to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, ruling 2-1 that only same-sex couples may enter into civil partnerships. The court's decision gave the government more time to review the law, which currently prohibits opposite-sex couples from taking advantage of civil partnership arrangements. All three judges stated that the ban could not last indefinitely, giving the government time to review the law. The judges all agreed that the ban could constitute a violation of both Article 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It now turns to the government to address the issue.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 had afforded same-sex couples rights similar to marriage. Same-sex marriage was legalized when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 took effect. Under that legislation, couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships could covert those partnerships into marriages. In 2015 a same-sex couple challenged Northern Ireland's same-sex marriage ban, arguing that reducing their marriage to a civil partnership was unlawful discrimination.

(Published by Jurist - February 21, 2017)

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