First couple ties the knot in mixed sex civil partnership

31 December 2019, 11:43 | Updated: 31 December 2019, 11:51

The civil partnership is the first of its kind in the UK
The civil partnership is the first of its kind in the UK. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who won a legal bid at the Supreme Court in 2018 for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage, have become one of the first couples to tie the knot in a civil ceremony.

Accompanied by Mr Keidan and their two children, Ms Steinfeld told reporters outside Kensington and Chelsea Register Office: "Today, as one decade ends and another dawns, we become civil partners in law.

"Our personal wish to form a civil partnership was rooted in our desire to formalise our relationship in a more modern way, focus on equality, and mutual respect.

"So today is a unique, special and personal moment for us, a moment that we've been able to affirm our love and commitment to one another in the company of our beautiful children, Eden and Ariel, and close friends.

"And have that love and commitment given legal recognition in a way that best reflects who we are, what we love and the life we value."

Previously, the law only allowed same-sex couples to be civil partners.

About 84,000 mixed-sex couples could form civil partnerships next year, the government claims.

Introduced for same-sex couples in 2005, civil partnerships offer almost identical rights as traditional marriage, including property, inheritance and tax entitlements.

The happy couple after becoming one of the first couples to register for a civil partnership.
The happy couple after becoming one of the first couples to register for a civil partnership. Picture: PA

Mr Keidan addressed reporters outside the registrar office: "Becca and I have shared much joy in supporting each other through the strains of life and loss.

"Against all odds, we succeeded in a legal battle against the Government and then, they did what we asked for all along. Not many people can say that.

"But we both know that with everything gained, some things risk being lost, or at least unspoken.

"Through this long journey and hard fought battle, our mental health has suffered, our ability to be civil to each other has been tested, and crucially, we missed out on that important moment to state clearly what we mean to each other, not just what we've become in the eyes of others."

The couple thanked everyone who had supported them during their legal battle.

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