Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, November 15, 2010

Straight Couple Sues Seeking Civil Union

From the AP:

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle are in love and want to tie the knot — but they don't want to get married.

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.


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It should be very interesting to see what happens if a lawsuit like this happens in a U.S. state, some of which have arrangements which seem very similar to the one in the UK.

Posted by: RS | Nov 17, 2010 12:29:38 PM

Tom and Katherine should be allowed to form a 'civil union' because they want commitment, but do not want to enter into a full-blown marriage.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Attorneys | Sep 16, 2011 5:13:27 PM

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