A blow has been struck to heterosexual couples who wish to get civilly partnered rather than married after a UK court dismisses a challenge.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a case which would have allowed opposite-sex couples the option to get a civil partnership instead of getting married. As it stands only same-sex couples are able to get a civil partnership.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan wanted for the law to recognise their six-year relationship via a civil partnership, however, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 states that only same-sex couples are eligible. They have been campaigning to allow heterosexual couples’ rights for civil partnership for three years.

The couple challenged a High Court ruling in November and have not ruled out take their case to the Supreme court to overturn the decision.

Three judges who heard their case, Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Briggs and Lord Justice Beatson agreed that the discrimination against opposite-sex couples could not continue and that the Government should be given more time to consider the issue.

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They argued that the Court’s decision was discriminatory and at odds with the law.

Speaking outside the court, Rebecca Steinfeld said,

“We are deeply disappointed by the ruling and very sorry not be able to share good news but there’s so much in the decision that gives us reason to be positive and keep going.”

Peter Tatchell, who has campaigned on this issue said,

“I’m hugely disappointed with the ruling since the judges agreed with 90% if Charles and Rebecca’s case,”

“They accepted the points if law but believed the government should have extra time. Millions of different sex couples will feel that their rights have not been upheld by the court.