The parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights is “not convinced” by arguments against the extension of civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.
“We are not convinced by the Government’s reasons not to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, and we welcome the Government’s announcement that it will review this matter. In doing so, the Government should take into account the potential discrimination that may arise between cohabiting opposite sex couples and civil partners. We also note that there was some ambiguity in the Government evidence to us concerning the costs of extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples.”
Amongst other observations, the committee approved the various measures in the bill providing religious organisations with the right to opt out of conducting same sex ceremonies. The MPs also called on the government to review pension arrangements for surviving partners in same sex marriages and civil partnerships. They wrote:
“…we consider that the Government should carry out a full review of pension provisions in relation to survivor pension benefit entitlements of same sex married couples and civil partners to ensure that there is no unjustifiable discrimination…”
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