Can we have a mixed sex civil partnership?

1st October 2019

Rachael Kelsey has written for Lexis Nexis today on the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill introduced into the Scottish Parliament yesterday. If it makes it into law, the Act will allow mixed sex couples to enter into a civil partnership. This will mean that mixed sex couples have the same choice that same sex couples currently have if they want to formalise their relationship- to marry or to enter into a civil partnership.

The Bill seeks to address the issues that arose from the Supreme Court case of R (Steinfeld and Keidan) v Secretary of State for International Development 2018. The Court found that certain elements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004- which had introduced civil partnership for same sex couples- were incompatible with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), when taken in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Scottish Government looked at a number of ways of dealing with the lack of equal provision and, after consulting, have plumped for opening up civil partnership to mixed sex couples.

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