The first heterosexual UK couple to enter into a civil partnership have called on the Government to legalise the process for all people, regardless of sexuality.
Claire Beale and Martin Loat were forced to travel from their west London home to the Isle of Man on Friday, as this is the only place in the British Isles where heterosexual couples can form a civil partnership.
They said that they wanted a formal recognition of their relationship but did not want to get married.
However, civil partnerships formed in the Isle of Man are not officially recognised in the UK, and the couple hopes the Government will come to allow heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships.
In a statement, the couple said: “We respect that other people in committed, lasting relationships might want to opt for marriage. We regard ourselves as one of the millions of ‘happily unmarried’ couples in the UK.
“We want a less encumbered, light-touch civil union that recognises our relationship on our terms, free from the trappings and social pre-conditions of marriage.”
Next month, another UK couple, who argues that the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships breaches the Human Rights Act, will come before the Court of Appeal in London.
It follows a surge in public support, in which 70,000 people signed an online petition asking for UK civil partnerships to be open to all.
The first resident couple of the Isle of Man entered into a civil partnership in mid-October.
The couple, Adeline Cosson and Kieran Hodgson, said: “The main thing was that we wanted to keep it simple.
“We are a young couple. We do want to get married one day, but not now. This gives us rights under the law.”