UK plans to allow married couples change their status to civil partnerships

The UK Government plans to allow heterosexual married couples change the legal status of their relationships to a civil partnership. The move is consequent upon the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2014 and a recent court ruling that both gay and non-gay couples should be able to equally avail of either legal union.

The move has been criticised by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M).

Calling marriage the “gold standard”, Colin Hart said that all the studies “show it’s best both for adults and for children. In marrying, couples at least have an intention to stay together for life. People need that stability.”

On the other hand, “opposite-sex civil partnerships provide no foundation for long-term commitment. They are ‘marriage-lite’ unions. All of the rights of marriage but none of the responsibilities that come with an exclusive lifelong commitment”.

He said the Government claims it wants to promote marriage, yet ministers seem intent on making it easier to end a marriage, either through no-fault divorce or downgrading to civil partnership.

“By allowing people to downgrade their marriage, the Government is creating new instability, a halfway house to family breakdown. Just because a tiny minority of people want the rights of marriage without the commitment.”