UK: Government to review civil partnerships in proposed marriage shake-up

The Government is to conduct a review of civil partnerships that could open them up to straight couples or see them abolished altogether.

The Home Office is to consult on proposed changes to address “the difference in treatment” of same-sex and heterosexual couples in marriage law.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004 as an initial step on the road to legalising gay marriage. The system was left in place after same-sex marriage was introduced, but critics argue this created a new inequality because heterosexual couples do not have the choice of a civil partnership. 

Conservative former minister Tim Loughton brought forward a bill seeking the extension of civil partnerships. However, other MPs have called for civil partnerships to cease entirely instead.

Responding to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill in the Commons on Friday, junior Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said the Government would “bring forward proposals for how the law ought to be changed so that the difference in treatment in the current system is resolved”. Read more via Independent