- A question of legal status and rights
- It has been confirmed that civil partnerships for opposite sex couples on the Isle of Man will not be legally recognised in the rest of the UK. What decision was taken on these issues, and why has the refusal to extend them to opposite sex couples been labelled discriminatory?
- What are the differences between a civil marriage and a civil partnership?
- What are the equality arguments made in favour of extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples (eg non-religious ties, danger of cohabitants believing they are legally protected by so-called common law marriage) or perhaps even to those serving in positions of care or familial relations?
- How does this case fit within the context of UK legal challenges on this issue?
- Do you expect the government to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples, or might it phase out civil partnerships altogether in the future? What issues would this raise?
- Claire Beale and Martin Loat have said they would take their case to the Supreme Court and thereafter the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. Would you expect these issues to fall within the ambit of Article 8 and the right to protection of private and family life?
Family analysis: Should civil partnerships be extended to opposite-sex couples? Claire O’Flinn, a consultant solicitor at Keystone Law, and Rachel Cooper, an associate with the firm, suggest that the current law is out of step with the modern family.
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