Ongoing campaigns: Supreme Court Victory for Equal Civil Partnerships

15 May 2018

Greens are celebrating the Supreme Court's verdict that the current law is discriminatory. The Government must now act to remedy the current inequality which means the avenues of legal recognition for couples are determined by their sexuality and gender. 

Handing in petition

Green RoseMary Warrington (third from right) handing in a petition to the Home Office. Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan (front left) took the the Government to court over the current ban on civil partnerships for different gender couples. In response to a Private Members Bill brought by Mr. Loughton, MP (second from left), the Government stated that it would be shortening its current plan for further consultation on the issue so that it concludes this year -  hoped to be the last stage in the battle before the law is finally changed.

Green Party Women will be waiting for the publication of the consultation and encouraging its members to tell the Government why we need to open up civil partnerships to all. Currently it is women who disproportionately lose out when a relationship that isn't legally recognised through marriage breaks down. Those who have taken a break from work to raise children or who do not own the family home do not have the same financial security as their married counterparts. It is hoped that those who do not want to marry for whatever reason may now consider a civil partnership, potentially providing protection to millions of cohabiting families. 

Green Party Women member Clare Lorraine Phipps told the Independent why she was calling for civil partnerships to be extended to all:

Clare Lorraine Phipps outside Supreme Court“[My partner and I] first got together nine years ago. Neither of us feel like the terms husband and wife are right for us. We want legal and financial protection and recognition for our relationship but marriage comes with so many cultural associations, traditions, and expectations that just don't feel right for us. 

"We are painfully aware that should anything happen to either of us, the other partner would have no legal or financial protection despite the fact we live together and have done so for six years. We don't think that it's fair that, just because we don't think marriage is right for our relationship, we should be denied the legal and financial protection it offers. A civil partnership would give our relationship that protection and in a way that we feel more comfortable with."

Greens have long argued that Civil Partnerships should be for all. Speaking ahead of historic Equal Marriage Act in 2013, Caroline Lucas MP said: "While I’ll be voting for equal marriage, I’ll also be calling for more far reaching reform to allow everyone – same sex and opposite sex couples – to enjoy a civil partnership or marriage, as they choose.

"This is a question of equal love. It’s not about asking for special treatment for gay couples or straight couples, it’s about everyone enjoying the same rights regardless of their sexuality."

Sign Charles and Rebecca's petition for more updates on the campaign and show your support.

Our latest campaign news

On International Women's Day 2018

1. Close Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre As women continue their hunger strike, Deputy Leader Amelia Womack was at the Home Office with protesters in solidarity.

2. Allow MPs to job-share Former Women’s Equality Spokesperson Sarah Cope and GPW Secretary Clare Lorraine Phipps were on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour talking about the campaign to increase diversity in our Parliament by allowing MPs to job-share.
Clare and Sarah at the BBC

3.Make misogyny a thing of the past Green Party Women are asking anyone who has worked in the third sector (now or in the past) to consider completing the Charityworks 'Sexism In The Third Sector' Survey on sexism and harassment. The research will help them understand the strengths and weaknesses of the sector, while ensuring it is open and safe for all people. Hear Green Party Women Membership Secretary RoseMary Warrington with others at the Home Office hand in of our petition to Make Misogyny a hate crime below.

4. Safeguarding reproductive rights Green Party Women are an official supporter of BPAS' 'Back Off' campaign. If you have been affected, in any way, by anti-abortion activity outside a clinic and would like to contribute to a survey of experiences you can do so here

5.Celebrating 100 years since the UK’s first women voted While Caroline Lucas MP popped into a very special broom cupboard, Amelia and Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley MP, as well as Molly Scott Cato MEP and former Leader Natalie Bennett went #HungryforDemocracy. We also remembered those women who didn’t gain equal voting rights until a decade later, as well as the women of colour, disabled and queer women whose achievements in gaining women’s suffrage have been underappreciated.

Caroline in Emily Wilding Davison Broom Cupboard