'UK's first' heterosexual civil partnership takes place at Islington Town Hall
PUBLISHED: 14:24 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 31 December 2019
A duo became the "UK's first" heterosexual couple to enter into a civil partnership at the town hall this morning, according to Islington Council.
Lucinda Brown and Miles Spencer became civil partners at Islington Town Hall in Upper Street shortly after midnight, in what they hailed as a "small step away from a patriarchal society".
It became legal for same-sex couples to have civil ceremonies as of today, after Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan won a legal battle at the Supreme Court in 2018.
Civil partnerships, which have been available to same-sex couples since 2005, are legally recognised unions offering many of the same benefits, including property, tax entitlements and inheritance, as marriage.
Civil partnerships aren't religious and couples refer to one another as civil partners rather than husband and wife.
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Critics of the institution of marriage argue it upholds "outdated" traditional gender roles, with fathers giving brides away to the groom and, in some cases, women promising to "obey" their husband.
Lucinda told the Gazette: "Miles and I are delighted to benefit from the heard work of Rebecca and Charles, who fought tirelessly for equality. We massively respect and appreciate their work which enabled us to celebrate our partnership on equal terms.
"We hope this small step away from a patriarchal society will later mean equality in other walks of life. We know that the government were very keen on equal pensions rights but, sadly, it has not been so proactive when it comes to equal pay for women. Saying that, we always celebrate the small steps as we hope for a better, more caring and equal society, so last night was very special to us.
"We've been together for 15 years; we have had the same commitment to each other as married couples but only now is that legally recognised.
"Thanks to all those that made that possible. It was an amazing night to share with our friends, family and amazing crew at Islington Council. We couldn't have wished for a better, more progressive venue to seal the deal. Happy new year!"
The government anticipates 84,000 mixed-sex couples could become civil partners in 2020.