Just over a year ago, Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle applied for a civil partnership at Islington Town Hall. Islington council refused their application, however, as it's only allowed to process civil partnerships for same-sex couples.
As discussed in this blog, the couple weren't interested in getting married because they consider marriage to be a form of institutionalised "apartheid" that segregates straight and gay people.
They're now planning on returning to Islington Town Hall for a second time to ask for the partnership, as part of the Equal Love campaign against the twin bans on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships.
The campaign is being organised by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights organisation OutRage!, and will see eight couples filing applications at register offices and then, when they are refused, bringing a joint legal action in the European Court of Human Rights to secure a change in the law.
"We want to secure official status for our relationship in a way that supports the call for complete equality and is free of the negative, sexist connotations of marriage," said Mr Freeman.
"We are taking this stand against discrimination and in support of legal equality for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
"The 'separate but equal' system which segregates couples according to their sexuality is not equal at all. All loving couples should have access to the same institutions, regardless of sexuality. There should be parity of access."
The first of the eight couples, Rev Sharon Ferguson and Franka Strietzel applied for a marriage licence at Greenwich register office last Tuesday, but were turned down.
- Heterosexual couple make second attempt for civil partnership (The Guardian)
- Equal love campaign (Outrage!)
- Family lawyers demand reform of cohabitation and civil partnership laws (The Solicitor)
- Straight couple denied civil partnership launch ECHR appeal (The Solicitor)
- Heterosexual civil partnership (The Solicitor)
- Civil partnership (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Family law Q&A (Community)
- Find a family law solicitor (Contact Law)