Bill looks likely to have the Government’s support
Opposite-sex couples who have been lobbying for a change in civil partnership laws have been given hope that change may be on the horizon.
A Private Members Bill has been brought forward by backbench MP Tim Loughton, setting out proposals to make the partnerships available to all – regardless of their sexual orientation.
The Bill is set for a Second Reading in the House of Commons in February and crucially it looks set to receive the support of the Government – without which legislation of this kind is unlikely to progress.
Mr Loughton has this month hinted he is optimistic that the proposals will complete their passage through Parliament.
The latest developments at Westminster follow several years of debate about the future of civil partnership laws.
The Government had said it would consider its options following the introduction of gay marriage.
Since then the number of civil partnership ceremonies being arranged has fallen dramatically, with some suggesting that the unions have effectively been made redundant.
At the same time though, some couples have continued to insist that legislation should be updated so that the partnerships are open to anyone who wants one.
One such couple, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, have been fighting a long-running legal battle to force a change in the law.
They argue that the Government’s current position goes against the spirit of equality laws and they have been supported in their fight by we