Since the introduction of Civil Partnerships in 2005 statistics show that more than 40,000 same sex couples have had their relationships recognised by law.
It is now becoming apparent that heterosexual couples also wish for their relationships to be recognised as partnerships, rather than marriage. The opposite is true for same sex couples who wish for their partnerships to be recognised as a marriage.
Eight couples, four heterosexual and four same sex, have recently brought an application to the European Court of Human Rights for the law to be changed following their applications for marriages and civil partnerships, respectively, being rejected. The eight couples claim they are therefore subject to discrimination, stating that everyone should be equal before the law despite their race, gender or sexual orientation.
Some of you will question at this point whether a “marriage’ and a “partnership’ are one and the same in any event?
Each one of us will hold our own views on marriage, in the traditional sense and the formation of civil partnerships, but has the time now come for what has been referred to as “patriarchal history’ to be reformed and allow heterosexual sex couples to enjoy a partnership and same sex couples a marriage?
It is predicted that this issue may take up to three years to resolve. Campaigners remain hopeful that policy may change prior to that time.