Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Same-sex marriage bid - Appeal for couples

Are you willing to join a legal challenge?
Appeal to European Court of Human Rights planned
London - 1 February 2010

Are you in a same-sex relationship and willing to be part of a test case legal challenge to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage? If not, do you know of other same-sex couples who might be willing? Please let them know.

Interested same-sex couples should contact Peter Tatchell with their names, addresses, phone numbers, length of their relationship, ages and occupations: peter(at)petertatchell.net


We are looking for same-sex couples who have been together for at least three years and who ideally live in or near London (but this is not essential). The couples also need to feel comfortable talking to the media and have no skeletons in their closet. They must not already have a civil partnership and they need to genuinely want a civil marriage.

They should be willing to commit to the legal case for at least five years, which is the length of time it can take to complete an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

For more information about the legal challenge, read on:

A simultaneous legal challenge to the ban on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships is being prepared by LGBT human rights group OutRage!.

The group has the support of legal expert, Professor Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at Kings College in London, who has agreed to take on the 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. 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," said Peter Tatchell, spokesperson for OutRage!

"Denying couples the right to civil marriage and civil partnership on the basis of their sexual orientation is wrong and has to go.

"OutRage! is seeking three lesbian and gay couples willing to be part of a joint legal case to overturn the same-sex marriage ban. We already have one straight couple, Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, who are willing to challenge the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships. We need two more straight couples.

"Tom and Katherine filed an application for a civil partnership at Islington registry office last November. They were rejected because, under UK law, civil partnerships are open to only same-sex couples. This legal exclusion mirrors the way civil marriage is available solely to heterosexual partners.

"We plan to take these cases to the European Court of Human Rights, in a bid to secure marriage equality and civil partnership equality for all couples, regardless of their sexuality," said Mr Tatchell.

Willing couples who meet the criterion should email Peter Tatchell with their names, addresses, phone numbers, length of their relationship, ages and occupations: peter(at)petertatchell.net

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You can contact Peter at peter(at)petertatchell.net

www.petertatchell.net

You can also follow Peter on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PeterTatchell or join the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Campaign Facebook group at http://tinyurl.com/cj9y6s

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