A Victory For Equality

Author:Giambrone Law ILP

After a long fight Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have won their battle for the right to have a civil partnership. In a ruling that has pleased both the heterosexual and the LGBT community; the Supreme Court has ruled that denying heterosexual couples the right to a civil partnership was contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The couple did not feel that marriage was a suitable option for them, particularly in light of the fact that for many centuries women lost all rights to their own property and were treated as chattels when they entered a marriage; they felt that a civil partnership offered a superior alternative.

Ms. Steinfeld and Mr. Keidan began their battle in 2014 when their application for a civil partnership was refused by the Chelsea Town Hall's registry office. In response, they sought a judicial review at the High Court. Over a year later a High Court judge granted permission for the legal claim to continue, with an all important Protective Costs Order in recognition of the importance of the case. Just under another year later the case was heard in the High Court and they lost. However, they were granted permission to appeal. 11 months later the case was heard in the Court of Appeal, the result was announced after a further three months, when it was stated that the couple's rights had been breached and the ban on heterosexual couple's access to civil partnership could not remain. However, it was a split ruling and the court gave the government a limited time to decide on the future of civil partnerships. Ms. Steinfeld and Mr. Keidan then took the matter to the Supreme Court and a further seven months elapsed before the Supreme Court granted permission to hear the case. Finally, ten months after permission was granted, the...

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