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Hetero civil partnership case set for EU Courts

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An Islington couple look ready to march to the European Court of Human Rights after repeatedly being denied a civil partnership because they are ‘straight’.

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle hit the headlines last November when they approached their local registry office about a civil partnership. The couple refused a traditional arrangement after claiming that “colluding with the segregation that exists in matrimonial law between gay civil partnerships and straight civil marriage” was not for them.

But the registry office refused their application last year and the couple are now asking for those with similar views to help support their campaign against ‘discriminatory marriage’.

“We’re looking for two gay couples and one straight couple who want the ceremonies they are not entitled to by law, and are prepared to join our legal battle,” Mr Freeman told the Islington Tribunal this week.

The legal challenge has been supported by gay human rights group, OutRage!, which has enlisted the help of Professor Robert Wintemute, leading expert on Human Rights at Kings College London, to strengthen its case.

“Our plan is for several gay and straight couples to file a joint application to the European Court of Human Rights, to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships,” said Peter Tatchell, spokesperson for OutRage!

“The aim is to secure full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law. We want both systems open to all couples, gay and straight, so that everyone has a free choice, without discrimination.”

Mr Freeman and his partner have vowed to remain unmarried until the law recognises “legal equality for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation”.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

February 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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