Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx heterosexual civil partnerships not recognised in UK

Isle of Man government buildings Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption In July, the Isle of Man became the only part of the British Isles where both gay and straight couples can enter civil partnerships

Heterosexual couples who enter a civil partnership on the Isle of Man will not have their union recognised in the UK, a member of the House of Lords said.

The Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man is the only part of the British Isles in which both gay and straight couples can enter civil partnerships.

In 2004 the UK's Civil Partnership Act was created for same sex-couples only.

Baroness Hussein-Ece had asked Lord Nash whether heterosexual civil partnerships were recognised in the UK.

Lord Nash said they would not, adding: "As opposite sex couples cannot lawfully register a civil partnership here, the [2004] Act provides that couples registering a relationship overseas are not to be treated as having formed a civil partnership if, at the time the relationship was formed, they were not of the same sex."

Since July, all couples who have registered a civil partnership on the Isle of Man have acquired similar legal status and rights to married couples.

Lord Nash's clarification means this only applies to couples living on the island.

Image caption Claire Beale and Martin Loat travelled to the island in October to say their vows at Douglas Registry Office

Last month, a couple from London became the first UK residents to take advantage of the new Manx law.

Claire Beale, 49, and Martin Loat, 55, travelled to the island for a day trip to say their vows at Douglas Registry Office.

The couple, who have two children, said they wanted a civil union which was "free from the trappings and social pre-conditions of marriage, but protected their family financially and in law".

They added that they were campaigning "for the UK government to follow the Isle of Man's lead and end discrimination against heterosexuals seeking civil partnerships".

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