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Couple to challenge ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

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An opposite-sex couple has told the High Court that they are being discriminated against, because they are not allowed to enter into a civil partnership.

Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, from London, have said that they want to be "partners in law", but do not want to get married.

In 2014 they were told by Chelsea Register Office that they could not register a notice of intention to form a civil partnership because they were a man and a woman. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 requires that the partners be "two people of the same sex".

At a hearing for judicial review on Tuesday, their QC Karon Monaghan told the court the prohibition is "directly discriminatory on grounds of sexual orientation".

Chief Executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, has said that this case highlights the confusion caused by the watering down of marriage, as defined by God.

No plans to extend civil partnerships

In 2014, legislation came into effect to permit same-sex couples to 'marry', allowing them to now choose between 'marriage' and a civil partnership. Civil partnerships offer similar legal benefits to those given to married couples.

Mr Keidan and Miss Steinfeld are challenging the court on the current legislation, on the grounds that the restriction breaches their right to family life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Dilution of marriage

The couple said that they do not wish to get married because they do not believe it is 'equal'.

"We want to be able to celebrate our relationship with each other and formalise our commitment to each other within a social institution which is modern, which is symmetrical and that focuses on equality, which is exactly what a civil partnership is," said Miss Steinfeld.

Marriage, she claimed, has a "problematic history from the point of view of female-male relations".

Andrea Williams commented:

“By introducing civil partnerships and eventually ‘marriage’ for same-sex couples, the God-given definition of marriage as between one man and one woman has been blurred and watered down. As this case demonstrates, this is now causing additional confusion.

“The government should not be diluting marriage further by offering civil partnerships for all couples. Rather, it should be doing more to protect and promote the God-given design of marriage, which has proven to be a solid foundation for family life and wider society for centuries.”

Watch Andrea Williams discuss the dilution of marriage

A bill to extend civil partnerships to couples of the opposite sex will have its second reading on 29 January. Please pray that MPs will speak against the bill.

Related News:
Court to consider Civil Partnership challenge 
'Extend' civil partnerships, says MP

Related Coverage:
Heterosexual couple challenge civil partnerships ban (BBC)