Full Frontal Nerdity
- Sep 19, 2018
- SL Rez
- Joined SLU
- Nov 2003
- SLU Posts
In British English it's generally used without reference to gender or sexual orientation. That's certainly how I've always used it.
As it happens, the British Supreme Court recently held that it's discriminatory to restrict civil partnerships to same-sex couples (R (on the application of Steinfeld and Keiden) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (in substitution for Secretary of State for Education (Respondent) - The Supreme Court). They were originally introduced as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples before we made same-sex marriage lawful, so the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 left us in a situation where gay couples can choose between a civil partnership and marriage, while straight couples can't. The decision doesn't change the law but it means the Government have rapidly to decide whether to make civil partnerships available to all or to abolish them.
Gender-neutral civil partnerships are available in several jurisdictions, including several US states: see Where are heterosexual civil partnerships legal? for more details.
It's more complicated than that, I think. Coincidentally, the Supreme Court here recently decided another case, in which they held that a woman who had been living with her partner for several years, and had a young family with him, was entitled to various state bereavement benefits that the government had tried to argue were reserved for the surviving partner in a marriage or civil partnership.So basically, they are legalizing what was once called common law marriage in the US? I wish they would re-instate common law in the States or legalize civil partnerships for heteros. As things are now, I'll be struggling to pay bills if Troy dies before I do.