UK: Civil partnerships for all

Heterosexual couples might be able to access civil partnerships, as the government reviews the law that currently only applies to homosexual couples. Tory MP Tim Loughton had proposed to amend the existing law to include all couples. It is now being reviewed by the government.

If the law is scrapped, it could result in equality being achieved by making civil partnerships available for everyone. Ahead of the review, we spoke to four couples about why they prefer a civil partnership over a marriage, and why it matters to them that their relationships receive legal recognition.

Dee and James, Oxfordshire

Dee Harvey, in her 50s, and James Thrussell, in his 30s, say their main concern is that Dee's final salary pension will only be given to a spouse or civil partner. The two have been together for 11 years, they have a joint mortgage and are expecting to become grandparents through Dee's son.

Without a civil partnership, Dee and James's relationship does not have the same legal and financial standing as that of a married couple. The couple believes marriage as an institution does not reflect their equal relationship.

"We don't want to 'take each other as husband and wife'", Dee says, "marriage is still very much a patriarchal system. Having to put your father's name and occupation on the marriage certificate, but not your mother's, is one example." She adds: "We are not anti-marriage - my parents have been happily married for 62 years - it is just not right for us." Read more via BBC