December 21, 2010
British couples challenge marriage rights at European court
Eight British couples have launched a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to extend full marriage rights to gay couples, and civil partnership rights to straight couples.
Each couple has recently tried to form a marriage or civil partnership and has been turned down for a variety of reasons. The four same-sex couples involved will file a case with the Court as part of the Equal Love campaign. They will be arguing that they are being discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Four straight couples who have attempted to form civil partnerships will be making the same argument today.
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell who is coordinating the Equal Love campaign said “The bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships are a form of sexual apartheid – one law for gay couples and another law for heterosexual partners.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right. In a democratic society, we should all be equal before the law.”
The case could take up to three years but campaigners hope that policy will change sooner. Today is the fifth anniversary of civil partnerships.
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