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Gay and straight couples needed to challenge UK gay marriage ban

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  1. Simon Murphy 2 Feb 2010, 3:42pm

    Hurrah. I doubt they will have any problem getting gay couples to join their fight.

    I just hope that Stonewall don’t try to sabotage this.

    Even though Stonewall are opposed to legal equality for LGBT people I hope they have the common decency not to try to inflict their preferred status (2nd class citizenship for LGBT people is Stonewall’s preferred option) on those of us in favour of legal equality for LGBT people.

  2. I hope they get the numbers they need. Best of luck to them.

  3. Vincent Poffley 2 Feb 2010, 5:06pm

    I’d love to help out, but alas I’ve been utterly unable to find a boyfriend all my life. Good luck though.

  4. Jean-Paul Bentham 2 Feb 2010, 6:06pm

    Interesting. Most interesting. Sounds like a sure thing to me.

  5. Thank you and good luck.
    I only wish I could help!

  6. Don’t you first have to use up the entire appeals process in your country before taking the case to the European court of human rights?

    Furthermore, the ECtHR won’t interfere with the legislation regarding marriage. It was a political decision back then and it still stands today. I’m certain they will fail.

  7. Robert, ex pat Brit 2 Feb 2010, 8:08pm

    Lucius, yes I’m afraid you’re right about that. The ECHR does NOT meddle with marriage laws in EU member states. As far as I know, that hasn’t changed and probably won’t unless there is enough consensus to affect such a change. I believe you’re also right in regard to the appeals process. If I remember, didn’t those two English women who married in Canada try to appeal it and lost, then went the same route and were defeated leaving them with thousands of pounds to pay off legal fees. In any event, I do support whatever it takes to overturn the ban. With six EU countries now allowing us to marry, pressure will be building. Its inevitable I think and the ECHR will have no reason to uphold the ban on meddling in marriage laws throught the rest of the EU.

    Simon Murphy, expect NO support from StonewallUK, they’re probably against it as they are against full equality. They’re under the delusion that civil partnerships are perfectly fine as well as the legal segregation if engenders, treating an entire group of people differently from main stream society. Its sick when you think our own kind are working against us as well as those who support them blindly. If it were any other straight group, there would be public uproar. Imagine if we had what America had at one time, i.e. anti-miscegenation laws (forbidding people of mixed races from breeding with whites and therefore banning them from marrying). You’d see how fast our government would change the law.

  8. I’m no lawyer but they are being assisted by a leading legal expert so it’s a safe bet that, if it wasn’t possible to bring the case to the ECHR without first exhausting the appeals process within the UK, he would have mentioned it.

    Frankly I’m not aware of the extent to which the ECHR can help in this case but I think that making a bit of noise will be good. At the moment the issue of same-sex marriage is not even discussed here in the UK. Most people think that we have it already.

  9. This seems the only way and best way to try and get full marriage equality for gays

    Its not right for gays to be treated as second class not in a democratic nation 21st century britain

    It must stop and it has to stop now LGBT people don`t demand special rights they just want the same rights and to be treated the same as anyone else

  10. Tim Hopkins 3 Feb 2010, 10:01am

    The ECtHR will interfere with national law on marriage, but only where there is a strong social and political steer across the 40-odd Council of Europe states.

    The reason a strong steer is needed is that article 12 (marriage) of the European Convention on Human Rights gives individual states wide discretion to set their own national laws on marriage.

    For example, on the right of transsexual people to marry in their transitioned gender, for decades the ECtHR ruled against trans applicants. Eventually, in the cases of Goodwin and I vs UK in 2001, the court changed its mind and required the UK to start to allow such marriage. But that only happened because 40 other European states already allowed it by then – it was the European consensus.

    Bottom line: I believe the ECtHR will one day rule that same-sex marriage is required by the Convention, but only when most of Europe already allows it, maybe 20 years from now!

  11. Tim Hopkins 3 Feb 2010, 10:05am

    I should have added that I strongly support Peter and colleagues in raising this matter through the courts though, just as the trailblazing trans applicants in the 20th century raised the trans marriage issue with the ECtHR.

    Practically, it raises the profile of the issue of equal marriage and CP, and adds to the political pressure. Also, the UK Courts might go further than the ECtHR would. And the ECtHR, if the case gets there in a few years, could surprise us all!

  12. LondonFriend 4 Feb 2010, 10:58am

    Good Luck Peter – If only Stonewall had a leader with the courage to take the government on in a tough fight.

  13. Simon Murphy 4 Feb 2010, 2:03pm

    “If only Stonewall had a leader with the courage to take the government on in a tough fight.”

    Stonewall are way too comfortable being the ‘go-to’ gay group of the government.

    The government likes Stonewall, as Stonewall will NEVER ask them difficult questions about equality.

    Stonewall are on the way out as a campaign group I think.

    They represent only 1.1% of the LGBT population and they are massivelly out of touch with what the LGBT population wants.

    With cases like these the government will soon realise what the LGBT population already does – Stonewall as a group are a relic of the 20th Century thanks to their opposition to LGBT equality.

  14. Barry, Northampton 5 Feb 2010, 11:06am

    I agree that there should be equality for all regarding marriage, however until there is I don’t agree that straight couples should be able to hold CP’s. They have a right to a full marriage and if they want a binding contract for their relationship they should use it.
    While on the subject, I don’t think that there is a strong argument for the church to allow gay marriages, I know that many people will not agree with me on this but surely a religion which does not agree with our way of life should not be forced to bless our relationships, and why would we want it too? I compare it with going to a gay bar and being subjected to homophobic abuse, we wouldn’t accept that, why should the church.
    Also what is with the bitching about stonewall, have they not done really good work for us in the past? If the organisation needs modernising then write and tell them, don’t take away from all the good they have done.

    Rant over!

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