Scotland extends civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples

·2 min read
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan who campaigned for same-sex civil partnerships in Britain (PA)
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan who campaigned for same-sex civil partnerships in Britain (PA)

Scotland has passed a new law making civil partnerships available for mixed-sex couples after calls for change from campaigners.

Previously only same-sex couples could be civil partners, but the Scottish Parliament passed a new law that comes into force today extending the eligibility criteria.

The change comes after a legal bid from heterosexual couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan from west London who took their battle to be mixed-sex civil partners to the Supreme Court in 2018.

At the time the Civil Partnership Act 2004 only granted rights to same sex couples.

Speaking prior to their court appearance in 2018, the couple said: “Throughout our campaign, we have met hundreds of couples like us who love each other and want a civil partnership so they can celebrate their commitment and strengthen the security of their family unit.”

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of the couple, who are both academics, prompting a rule change in England and Wales. They celebrated their partnership at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in west London.

The first mixed-sex civil partnership in England took place in December 2019.

The Scottish government launched a consultation about the law change before extending the civil partnership rules to cover all couples.

Minister for Equalities Christina McKelvie said:“I welcome the introduction of civil partnerships for all couples.

“We have now embedded equality of choice on how to formalise their relationship in the way that best reflects their beliefs and ensures access to the rights, responsibilities and benefits which flow from entering a legally recognised relationship.

“This ground-breaking change in law demonstrates our commitment to creating a fairer and more inclusive society for all.

“I wish good luck to all couples who are entering Scotland’s first mixed-sex civil partnerships.”

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