Heterosexual couples in England and Wales will be allowed to choose between a civil partnership and marriage, Theresa May has announced.
Breaking the news, the Prime Minister said: “This change in the law helps protect the interests of opposite-sex couples who want to commit, want to formalise their relationship but don’t necessarily want to get married,
“As home secretary, I was proud to sponsor the legislation that created equal marriage.
“Now, by extending civil partnerships, we are making sure that all couples, be they same-sex or opposite-sex, are given the same choices in life.”
BBC reports that the government said there was “a number of legal issues to consider, across pension and family law”. However, Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt promised that the change in the law would happen “as swiftly as possible”.
Civil Partnerships to be available for heterosexual couples. Proud to share in equality.
In June the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who launched their own legal bid to be allowed Civil Partnership.
— Michael Cashman (@mcashmanCBE) October 2, 2018
The government said that there are more than 3.3 million unmarried couples in the UK. These couples live together with shared financial responsibilities, and nearly half of them also have children. However, these people don’t have the same legal protections as those who have a civil partnership or marriage.
The BBC added that they are not entitled to the same tax reliefs and exemptions for spouses and civil partners, including the inheritance tax exemption and the marriage income tax allowance.