Civil partnerships, which were legally recognised in 2005 by virtue of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples in matters including inheritance and next-of-kin arrangements and introduces the right for civil partnership marriage ceremonies to be public and be conducted by clergy.
It is almost a paradox that an Act brought into force for reasons of equality is now challenged for discrimination. The Notting Hill couple has a point but is it worth pursuing?
A heterosexual couple is challenging the ban on members of the opposite sex entering into civil partnerships. Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, of Notting Hill, London, say their case is a "basic issue of discrimination and equality". They are filing a judicial review at the High Court in London to have the ban lifted. The 2004 Civil Partnership Act stipulates that only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships. The review is expected to be heard later next year.