Skip to content

Archive site notice

You are viewing an archived copy of Christian Concern's website. Some features are disabled and pages may not display properly.

To view our current site, please visit

Couple launches next stage of civil partnership challenge

Printer-friendly version

A heterosexual couple has launched the next stage of their court challenge 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.

Currently, the law only allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership. Earlier this year, the High Court ruled against Keidan and Steinfeld’s challenge to this. They claim that the government's refusal to 'extend' civil partnerships to heterosexual couples is discriminatory.

The couple launched their appeal today in the High Court, with judgment reserved to a later date.  

'Modern social contract'

Keidan, 40, and Steinfeld, 35, are both academics who have been in a relationship for six years and have a 17-month-old daughter. 

But they have "deep-rooted" ideological objections to marriage. 

In a statement issued before the appeal, Ms Steinfeld said: "We are going to the Court of Appeal on behalf of ourselves and the more than 70,000 people who have signed our petition calling for civil partnerships to be open to all."

Keidan told the Observer: "A civil partnership would reflect who we are. It's a modern social contract that doesn't have the associations of marriage but would give the protection that we and other cohabiting couples crave."

Public Support

Crowdfunding raised £35,000 in aid of the couple’s legal battle. The rest of the costs were funded by the couple’s own savings and other donations.

An Early Day Motion tabled on 28 October, which acknowledges Keidan and Steinfeld’s legal challenge, and argues that the current legal situation is "unfair", has been signed by 13 members of parliament so far. 

The dilution of marriage

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, has previously commented on how marriage would be further watered-down by the introduction of civil partnerships for all. 

"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."

The appeal will be heard by Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Beatson and Lord Justice Briggs.

Related links: