Humanist Society welcomes Supreme Court Civil Partnership decision

June 27, 2018

The Supreme Court has found in favour of the appeal of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan in their case against the UK Government for not allowing opposite-sex couples access to civil partnerships. The couple argued that the policy is “incompatible with equality law”.

The law in Scotland is the same as the rest of the UK in that Civil Partnerships are only available to same-sex couples, with the Scottish Government stating in February 2018 that it would announce its decision on the future of civil partnerships “in due course”.

Humanist Society Scotland has been at the forefront of the campaign to have civil partnerships available to all couples and as part of their campaign to see same-sex marriage legalised the society called for civil partnerships to be redefined to be open to opposite-sex couples.

Gordon MacRae, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland, said:

Gordon MacRae

We are delighted at the news that the Supreme Court have found in favour of allowing all couples equal access to Civil Partnerships. The Scottish Government must now take swift action to change the law in regard to this finding and avoid further procrastination. This will allows all couples to choose the special day – marriage or civil partnership – that means the most to them.

At Humanist Society Scotland our celebrants marry more than 7,000 people a year – both opposite sex and same sex couples. We are proud of providing meaningful, modern ceremonies that allow people to declare their love for each other in a way that matters to them. We campaigned for same sex marriage and we were proud that it was one of our celebrants who performed the first same sex marriage at the bells struck on Hogmanay 2014.

But we know that for some, marriage is still associated with traditional for women and men or has religious connotations unsuited to many couples. For same sex couples they can choose a meaningful civil partnership. For opposite sex couples there is no alternative. There is demand for opposite sex civil partnerships and Humanist Society Scotland will be proud to offer civil partnership ceremonies as soon as it is legal to do so.

Gordon MacRae, Humanist Society Scotland

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