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First 'heterosexual civil partnership' in Isle of Man

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A heterosexual couple have become the first in the Isle of Man to enter into a civil partnership. Adeline Cosson, 24, and Kieran Hodgson, 22, had a civil partnership ‘ceremony’ on 14th October, at a registry office in Douglas, the Isle of Man’s capital city.

Same-sex 'marriage' in the Isle of Man was introduced in July 2016, after the Marriage and Civil Partnership Amendment Act received Royal Assent.

The Act, which has been in effect since 22 July 2016, also permits opposite-sex couples to have a civil partnership, as opposed to entering into a marriage.

Earlier this year, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, expressed concern that civil partnerships for all couples is a dilution of marriage.

'Marriage is a big word'

Adeline Cosson, who is from France, said:

"We wanted to call it a civil partnership. We were told we were the first ever. We are very proud to do it.

"The main thing was that we wanted to keep it simple. We are a young couple. We do want to get married one day but not now; at a later date.

"A lot of people don’t want to get married. 'Marriage' is a big word. I believe in equality... I live in my century."

Heterosexual civil partnerships 'could be good for tourism'

Jane Salter, the registrar who conducted the civil partnership 'ceremony' between the heterosexual couple, said:

"[Cosson and Hodgson] are the first opposite-sex partners who have chosen a civil partnership.

"It's the same sort of ceremony as a wedding but we use different wording. We don’t refer to the 'bride' and 'groom'. They can exchange rings, but this couple didn’t. They are now civil partners for life."

Salter said she is due to hold another civil partnership ceremony in the near future, for a couple travelling to the island from London. She said: "I could become a real expert. It could be good for tourism here".


Heterosexual resistance against marriage in UK

In 2014, legislation came into effect to allow same-sex couples to be 'married', giving them the option of 'marriage' or a civil partnership.

An opposite-sex couple from London, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, decided that, despite their right to marriage, they wanted to opt for a civil partnershipinstead. The couple said they wanted to be “partners in law” but did not want to get married, because it has a "problematic history from the point of view of female-male relations".

In 2014, Keidan and Steinfeld were told that they could not enter into a civil partnership, since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 requires that the partners are "two people of the same sex".

In January, they took their case to the High Court, but their claim was dismissed. The couple will go to the Court of Appeal in November, to argue that not allowing heterosexual couples in the UK to enter into civil partnerships is a 'breach of their human rights'.

'God-given design of marriage'

Chief Executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, said earlier this year:

"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."

Related Links:
First heterosexual civil partnership in Britain (The Times)
First heterosexual civil partnership in British Isles (BBC)
First heterosexual civil partnership in British Isles celebrated (Telegraph) 
Couple to challenge ban on heterosexual civil partnerships
Andrea Williams stands up for marriage