Gay rights group Outrage has launched an appeal seeking support for a lesbian couple whose Canadian marriage was deemed invalid by the UK High Court last month.

The High Court in London ruled that Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger’s legal Canadian marriage is not valid in the UK, and claimed any discrimination was ruled out by the Civil Partnership Act.

The couple were ordered to pay £25,000 of the government’s court costs and are now appealing for donations.

Ms Kitzinger called the price a “punitive measure for trying to protect our human rights.”

“We hope people who believe in equality and human rights will want to support us,” she added.

Outrage’s Brett Lock said: “The High Court penalised Sue and Celia for challenging the

non-recognition of same-sex marriage, ordering them to pay costs of

£25,000. This is their entire life-savings.

“To appeal this homophobic decision and win marriage equality, Sue and Celia urgently need financial support. We urge the gay community to rally round and donate generously to their legal defence fund,” said Mr Lock.

Ms Wilkinson said: “Please help us cover our costs so far, and challenge this discriminatory ruling in the appeal court. The struggle for equal rights must continue,”

“Denying our marriage does nothing to protect heterosexual marriage. It simply upholds discrimination and inequality.

“This judgment will not stand the test of time. We look forward to the day when there is full equality in marriage – not just for us, but for all same-sex couples.”

Cheques made payable to Equal Marriage Rights can be sent to: Equal Marrige Rights, Box 486, Clifford House, 7-9 Clifford St, York YO1 9RA.