Four gay couples and four straight couples today announced their intention to file a joint application to the European Court of Human Rights, in a bid to overturn the twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships. They want both institutions opened up to all couples, without discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“The formal filing of the application to the European Court of Human Rights was postponed after Camden register office inadvertently failed, at the last moment, to provide a valid letter of rejection to one of the heterosexual couples who were refused a civil partnership. Such a letter is required evidence, in order to demonstrate to the European Court that the couple suffered discrimination based on their sexual orientation,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which is organising the legal challenge.
Mr Tatchell opened this morning’s European Court case launch news confernce:
“This postponement is frustrating. It has delayed the formal application but it will not prevent it. Once we have the final letter of refusal, we will go ahead with the application, probably in the second week of January,” he said.
Mr Tatchell told the news conference: “Banning black couples from getting married would provoke national and international condemnation. The prohibition on gay marriages is equally outrageous.” (more…)
A heterosexual couple, Stephanie Munro and Andrew O’Neill, were refused a civil partnership at Camden Register Office this morning, Wednesday 8 December. The registrar cited the legal ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships as the reason for the refusal.
See these photos of Stephanie and Andrew at Camden register office:
These photos are free to use, without charge, but please credit Brett Lock.
They now plan to commence legal action in the courts, together with seven other couples. This joint legal appeal is scheduled to be launched on 21 December. (more…)
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has slammed FIFA, accusing it of “rewarding tyranny”, after its decision to award the next two football world cups to Russia and Qatar respectively:
“Awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Qatar and Russia is a big mistake. Both countries have poor human rights records. They restrict freedom of expression, the right to protest and press freedom. Journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders are often victimised.
Russia and Qatar also deny equality and human rights to their LGBT citizens.
“Qatar punishes homosexuality with imprisonment and lashes. It treats women as second class citizens. Russia has banned Gay Pride marches for many years and does not protect LGBT people against discrimination in employment and housing.
“Gay players, coaches, referees and fans could be at risk of arrest or violence at the 2018 or 2022 matches. Giving the World Cup to these two harshly homophobic countries is an insult to LGBT people everywhere. It alienates and excludes.
“FIFA has decided that sport should come before human rights. It has rewarded two countries that violate international humanitarian values. This sends the wrong signal.
“Sport should never be allowed to trump human rights. FIFA has put corporate and geo-political interests before the rights and welfare of the people of Russia and Qatar,” said Mr Tatchell.
Wednesday 8 December 2010
Camden Town Hall
Judd Street, WC1H 9JE
(off Euston Road, diagonally opposite St Pancras station)
A heterosexual couple, Stephanie Munro and Andrew O’Neill, will challenge the legal ban on straight civil partnerships by filing an application at Camden Register Office this Wednesday 8 December 2010 at 10am.
They are demanding “heterosexual equality.”
The denial of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples is, they say, “unjust, discriminatory and illegal under the Human Rights Act.”
Stephanie Munro and Andrew O’Neill expect to be turned down by the registrar but they plan to get the rejection in writing, with view to taking legal advice and appealing against the refusal in the courts, together with seven other rejected couples. All eight couples will file a joint legal appeal. (more…)
A gay couple’s application for a civil marriage licence was today refused by Greenwich register office in south-east London.
David Watters (40) and Richard Hull (49) were turned away on the grounds that UK law states that marriage partners have to be male and female.
Richard and David now plan to challenge this restriction in the courts, arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the Human Rights Act – specifically Articles 14 (protection against discrimination), 12 (the right to marry) and 8 (the right to respect for family life).
Photos of David and Richard at Greenwich register office:
These photos are free to use, without charge, but please credit Chris Houston (more…)
Gay male couple to apply for civil marriage
10.30am, Tuesday 2 December 2010
Greenwich Register Office
Woolwich, London SE18 6PW
A gay male couple, David Watters and Richard Hull, will apply for a civil marriage licence, in a direct challenge to the UK’s legal ban on same-sex marriage.
If their application is refused, the couple plan to take legal action in the courts (jointly with other rejected couples) to strike down the prohibition on gay marriages. (more…)