UK straight couple looking for gay couple to join their fight
Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, whose civil partnership application was rejected last month in Islington, UK, are looking for a gay couple to join their fight before the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Civil Partnerships Act 2005 bars heterosexuals from having civil partnerships.
Although the rejection of the civil partnership application was anticipated, it is thought that the ban on heterosexuals seeking civil partnerships rather than 'traditional marriage' may breach the European Convention of Human Rights Articles 8, 12, and 14.
They have been advised by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and a prominent human rights lawyer that the best strategy is to find a gay couple who would be turned away from registering for a civil marriage.
The two couples would then approach the ECHR jointly.
Freeman and Doyle do not believe in traditional marriage but their fight has now turned into a gay rights issue.
Freeman told PinkNews.co.uk that taking the case to the European court would avoid incurring the legal costs which would arise if they fought the case through UK courts.
He said: "It's now just a people's rights thing. No one should be kept out of institutions because of their sexuality. Unless someone can tell me a good reason why, it is really divisive. It continues this 'othering' of the gay community, and the 'othering' of the straight community to gays. It's just about equality."
Freeman said he had been surprised at the support the couple have received from politicians. Their local MP, Emily Thornberry, has invited them to the House of Commons in January and has said she will raise the issue in parliament.
He emphasised that he and Doyle were looking for a gay couple who were willing to take the time to fight the case and see it through to the end.
They hope to find a couple without any complicated circumstances in order to keep the challenge legally simple.
Freeman said he had had some offers of help from couples where one or both partners was transgender, which he said could lead to complications.
If you and your partner want to join the couple in their case, contact:
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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