A Jewish couple have lost their bid to make civil partnerships legal for heterosexual partners.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have been attempting to get legal recognition for their seven-year relationship – but do not want to get married.
The two, who have a 20-month-old daughter, have been stopped from getting a civil partnership as the law states they are only for same-sex couples.
The three judges hearing the case accepted there had been a breach of the couple’s human rights, but said the Government should be allowed more time to decide on the future of civil partnerships.
Speaking after the ruling, Miss Steinfeld, 35, said they were “deeply disappointed” by the decision.
She said they had lost on a “technicality” and that “the government cannot maintain the status quo for much longer”.
Mr Keidan, 40, said he and his partner were “determined to go on” with their appeal, taking the case to the Supreme Court if the government didn’t act.
“Opening civil partnerships to all is fair, popular and will be good for families and children across the country,” he said.
“There are over three million mixed-sex couples who are cohabiting, with two million dependent children.
This is the fastest growing family type, but these couples lack legal and financial security.”
Speaking to Sky News ahead of the ruling, Miss Steinfeld said there was “nothing wrong with marriage”.
“Marriage is a very meaningful expression of people’s love and commitment for one another, but it is not right for everybody.”
She said the couple felt there is “patriarchal baggage” around the institution.
They said the Government’s position is “incompatible with equality law”.
Campaigners say it is unfair that same-sex couples can enter into a civil partnership or get married, when mixed-sex couples can only get married.
They say this denies mixed-sex couples who do not want to get married the legal protections afforded to those in civil partnerships, such as the ability to inherit property tax-free from their partner.