A colleague and friend who served with me on the standing committee which scrutinised the Equal Marriage Act 2013 has introduced a private members bill to enable all couples to enter into a civil partnership.
Now, I recall being challenged in the committee proceedings on the ground that my support for the Bill, which extended marriage to same-sex couples, would fundamentally undermine marriage. Well, it seems to have survived pretty well.
Civil Partnerships were introduced in 2004 to enable same-sex couples to enter a legally recognised and protected relationship because they were unable to get married. Now that they are able to marry it should logically follow that civil partnerships should be abolished.
My colleague however, wants to extend them to all couples. I cannot think of anything more calculated to undermine marriage than the availability of some sort of ‘marriage-lite’ option for those who can’t face the full-fat obligation.