Politics

Straight couples can now have civil partnerships for the first time from today


DIFFERENT sex couples will be able to have civil partnerships for the first time today under a change in the law.

The act of union has been legal for gay ­couples for the past 15 years — since 2004.

 Julie Thorpe and Keith Lomax, of West Yorkshire, are “thrilled” at the prospect of their civil partnership

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Julie Thorpe and Keith Lomax, of West Yorkshire, are “thrilled” at the prospect of their civil partnershipCredit: PA:Press Association
 Before now it was only same sex couples that had the right to form a civil partnership

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Before now it was only same sex couples that had the right to form a civil partnershipCredit: Reuters

But it left some male/female duos frustrated they could only mark their commitment to each other by traditional marriage.

The law change means all couples in partnerships have the right to the same tax benefits, pensions and inheritance rules and parental responsibility for kids as married people.

A series of opposite sex civil partnership ceremonies are planned for today.

Julie Thorpe and Keith Lomax, of West Yorks, who met more than 30 years ago on New Year’s Eve, are “thrilled” at the prospect.

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They added: “Now, we can celebrate our love in a new, modern and inclusive way”.

And Ann Chamings and partner John Eccles — together for 43 years — will tie the knot at Hastings Town Hall today. The East Sussex pair helped push for the change in the law.

Equalities Minister Liz Truss said: “I’m proud we helped give thousands the option of a civil partnership.”

 Equalities Minister Liz Truss said she was proud that different-sex couples could now become civil partners

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Equalities Minister Liz Truss said she was proud that different-sex couples could now become civil partnersCredit: Rex Features
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