Lesbians Demand Parity Over Marriage
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LONDON – Two women asking Britain to recognize their Canadian same-sex marriage told a court yesterday that calling their relationship a civil partnership violated their human rights.
University professors Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger want Britain’s High Court to change a law that labels their August 2003 marriage in Vancouver, British Columbia, a civil partnership.
“The petitioner and her wife do not seek a special new form of recognition. They seek only recognition of their lawful marriage – marriage being a universally socially understood institution,” their lawyer Karon Monaghan said.
The Civil Partnerships Bill, enacted by Britain last year, gave same-sex couples the right to form legally binding civil partnerships and entitled them to most of the tax and pension rights of straight married couples.
“We’re not going to gain any more protections or rights, as far as we know. Since that’s the case, why this fierce opposition? Our government’s reaction is that they think it’s more than just a word, otherwise they wouldn’t oppose us.” Ms. Kitzinger told the Associated Press before the hearing.
A government spokeswoman said that British lawmakers had decided that civil partnerships were not marriages, “but (couples) get the same rights as those that are married.”