Monday, November 15, 2010
From the AP:
The 26-year-old Londoners think they should be allowed to have a civil partnership, a form of legal union available in Britain only to same-sex couples.
On Tuesday, after having their application to form a civil partnership rejected by officials at their local town hall in Islington, north London, they said they will go to court to win the right. They are being backed by gay rights activists, who hope a ruling that allows straight couples the right to a civil partnership would mean, in turn, that gay couples have the right to wed.
Some legal experts think there is a strong case, because discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation infringes Britain's human rights law.
"How can the government justify this, when the legal rights attached to each legal institution are identical?" said law professor Robert Wintemute, who is advising the campaign. "For most purposes, the two institutions are identical — except for the name."
Britain introduced civil partnerships in 2005, giving gay couples the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners — but not the label of marriage.
Read the full story here.