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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

29 JAN 2016

Marriage is here to stay: Steinfeld and Another v Secretary of State for Education [2016] EWHC 128 (Admin)

Marriage is here to stay: Steinfeld and Another v Secretary of State for Education [2016] EWHC 128 (Admin)
Mark Sage, Associate, TLT LLP

Further to my post 'Could this be the end of marriage?', it would appear not after the High Court today rejected the claims of Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan to change the law to allow them to enter a civil partnership.

Mrs Justice Andrews dismissed their claim for judicial review on the basis that the different treatment of gay and opposite sex couples did not infringe upon their right to a private and family life enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

She clarified by saying that, even if it did, the different treatment was justified as opposite sex couples can enter civil marriages, which are egalitarian and encompass the core principles of family life.

The government has indicated at past hearings that the future of civil partnerships has not been decided, and that it was waiting to see how extending marriage to same-sex couples impacted upon the number of civil partnerships before making a decision on the future of civil partnerships. The government did not want to enter into a costly and complex exercise of extending civil partnerships in the interim where there is a possibility they may be abolished or phased out in a few years.

Mrs Justice Andrews said 'Opposite couples are not disadvantaged by the hiatus, because they can achieve exactly the same recognition of their relationship and the same rights and benefits and protections by getting married.'

The couple have indicated that the fight will go on and we will await news of any decision upon whether they intend to appeal.

This article was originally published on Mark Sage's blog and has been reproduced here with kind permission. 

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