A straight couple has become the first in the British Isles to enter a civil partnership.
The ceremony took place in Douglas, capital of the Isle of Man. It is the first of its kind since the island in the Irish Sea made significant changes to its marriage laws back in July. Not only did the government introduce gay marriage, they also made civil partnerships available to heterosexual couples. This legislation made the Isle of Man the only place in the British Isles which affords straight couples that option.
Although Adeline Cosson and Kieran Hodgson “do want to get married one day”, this partnership will give the couple certain legal rights they would not have if they were simply cohabiting. Ms Cosson, a 24 year-old au pair from France, told The Guardian that civil partnerships help couples “move forward without having to get married right now”. She added that in France “everybody can get a civil partnership”.
The news has been welcomed by the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign, who were “delighted”. The option this couple had should be available “to all different-sex couples living in Britain and we hope that Westminster will soon follow the lead of the Isle of Man in making this a possibility” the group said.
Rebecca Steinfeld also tweeted about her happiness at the event:
BIG NEWS: 1st ever different-sex civil partnership in Britain has just taken place on the Isle of Man! Hooray! https://t.co/Dd4Kjhtwhn
— Rebecca Steinfeld (@beccasteinfeld) 14 October 2016
Next month, Steinfeld and her partner Charles Keidan will appear before the Court of Appeal to argue that civil partnerships should be available to straight couples in England and Wales. Not allowing it constitutes a breach of their human rights, the couple will insist. They began their legal crusade after they were told they could not enter a civil partnership because they were not gay. Earlier this year, the couple’s application to the High Court for a review of the law was rejected.