Civil partnership remit to widen?

Most couples will send out wedding invitations, book the wedding reception venue and put the champagne on ice when it comes to solidifying their commitment to each other and getting married.

However, that could all soon change as four heterosexual couples will put in an application to have a civil partnership ceremony instead.

Drawn to the the greater legal and financial security offered by a civil partnership over cohabiting, the couples feel that they don’t want to get married but they do want to do something to cement their commitment to each other.

One couple, Tom and Katherine, told BBC News that their main reason for not getting married is that they don’t want to be part of an institution that excludes gay and lesbian people.

Katherine said: “In our day-to-day life, we feel like civil partners, not a married couple. There’s supposed to be something transformative about marriage, but a wedding wouldn’t change our relationship.”

However, it will not be possible for Tom and Katherine, and other heterosexual couples, to have a civil partnership because they only extend to same sex couples in Britain.

According to BBC News, this system already exists in France where the equivalent of a civil partnership has been offered to straight and gay couples alike since 1999.