Straight couple demand civil partnership
Well, why not? Just as homosexuals complain that the institution of marriage is discriminatory because they are forbidden to enter the divinely-ordained institution, so heterosexuals may complain that civil partnership is discriminatory because married couples are forbidden to enter the man-made institution on the grounds that they already have the divinely-ordained institution of marriage.
And so another ‘hierarchy of rights’ battle begins.
But Cranmer prophesies that the heterosexuals will lose. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is clear on eligibility:
3.1 Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if—
(a) they are not of the same sex,
(b) either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married,
(c) either of them is under 16, or
(d) they are within prohibited degrees of relationship.
The Act is inherently discriminatory, or ‘heterophobic’ and ‘offensive’, as Peter Tatchell says (and whatever one may think about him, he is at least consistent).
The Conservative Party attempted to add an amendment to the Civil Partnership Bill; one which would have granted siblings the same rights as homosexuals. Cheryl Gillan was concerned with such instances as two spinster sisters who have lived together all of their lives, or a bachelor brother and spinster sister who care for elderly relatives. The amendment was defeated, since the sole purpose of the legislation was to grant a state-recognised union to homosexuals alone.
And so heterosexual couples are barred from the institution.
Cranmer wonders, though, what is stopping two men or two women who just happen to be mates from entering into a civil partnership purely for business reasons? If they wished to (say) buy a house together in order to get on the 'property ladder', as many single people now do, it is not clear how the Act may discriminate against them in their (laudable) quest to minimise their tax liability.
It is ironic that the Civil Partnership Act admits homosexual couples of the same sex, and (apparently) heterosexual couples of the same sex, but prohibits heterosexual couples of the opposite sex. Perhaps the best way to undermine its discriminatory provisions is not for heterosexual couples to attempt to enter into a partnership by (illegally) 'duping council regsitrars', but by thousands of heterosexual same-sex couples entering into a civil partnership for 'business' reasons. The state can hardly enquire, let alone prove, that such a partnership is asexual.