The Family Ties Matter campaign aims to persuade the government
to recognise the worth of family members living together
in adulthood and to stop discriminating against them
The government's decision to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples who want fiscal rights and legal protections but choose not to marry highlights the injustice facing the only people who have no possibility of any joint rights or protections at all through any means.
Unmarried siblings or other closely related family members who live together permanently as adults, are ineligible for any of the rights the government is now set to offer to any other two unmarried people, through civil partnerships, so long as it thinks their relationship might be sexual.
What have rights such as inheritance tax deferral and freedom from complications over inheriting tenancies to do with sex?
Those who live together permanently in platonic relationships are no less deserving or less in need of fiscal and legal safeguards than those whose bond is based on physical attraction.
The consequences of the denial of rights to long-term platonic partners include, in many cases, the loss of the home two people have built up together over decades, on the first death. This is because of the adverse way in which inheritance tax rules affect them. Click here for more on this.
This campaign aims to get the law changed to end the unfair discrimination against the thousands of family members who, like my sister Virginia and me, live together long-term in mutually supportive, financially inter-dependent, platonic relationships and believe the government should recognise that Family Ties also Matter.
Catherine and Virginia Utley
Founders of the Family Ties Matter campaign