In a ground-breaking new law, heterosexual couples can now form civil partnerships in the Isle of Man. The law was changed at the same time as legalising same-sex marriage, bringing the Island more in line with the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
It will be good news for campaigners in mainland UK who have been pressing for heterosexual couples to have the same choice between marriage and a civil partnership as same sex couples currently do.
Heterosexual civil partnerships Court appeal
In November 2016, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan will go to the Court of Appeal to argue their right to a civil partnership in the UK. They could form their civil partnership in the Isle of Man, as the government has said anyone is welcome to do so. However, the legality of that partnership outside of the Manx jurisdiction is currently unclear.
The suggestion that a Manx heterosexual civil partnership might be viewed as a marriage in the UK would not go down well with campaigners, who do not wish to enter into any partnership termed as a marriage. Currently, it would take Parliament to amend the law in England and Wales to allow opposite sex civil partnerships, as the current law states that both partners must be of the same sex at the time of their civil partnership.
Marriage, partnership or cohabitation – we can help
If you’re considering a civil partnership or marriage, and are not sure of the legal implications, call us. We’re happy to help with a pre-nup to help preserve your individual financial security for the future. And if you’d rather just cohabit, we can help with a Cohabitation Agreement too. Call us for details.
Civil unions, Romeo and Juliet style
Meanwhile, in Italy, times are changing too. Just months after same sex civil unions were finally made legal, Verona city council has announced that all its municipal venues are open to same sex couples for their ceremony.
This includes the Casa di Giulietta, the former residence of the del Cappello family, said to be the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet’. For around 600Euro, couples can hold their civil union ceremony in the house and have their photo taken on the world-famous Juliet balcony.
Other choice Italian venues include the impressive ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome and the beaches at Viareggio. In perhaps the most romantic city of all, Venice, civil unions are likely to be held in venue already approved for civil weddings, including the stunning Sala Cuoi d'Oro (Golden Hearts Hall) in the Ca' Vendramin Calergi, facing the Grand Canal.