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Q&A: The Equal Love campaign’s legal case

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  1. Steve@GayWebHosting 31 Jan 2011, 5:16pm

    I am not looking to either marry or have a civil union. Probably never will.

    The whole point though is that I should be able to do either if I so Choose…

    Straights who hold no truck with the religious connotations and ideas of marriage should be able to choose a civil partnership instead.. Gays who want to be able to marry the person they love, should be as free to do so as everyone else..

    Whatever ´institutions´ we have in the UK, whatever we call them…They must be open to ALL. Anything less is discrimination..

    Well done to those involved in this case, and well done to Peter T for organising things in the beginning..

  2. and for shame Stonewall and all the political parties for not doing more! We won’t forget!

  3. The list at the end excludes jurisdictions with SS only CP’s. This includes the UK and California. Also, there are more SS married couples in CA than in the rest of North America combined. I would think California’s situation would be of particular interest to your readers as it’s the most similar to the UK.

  4. TheSuburbanBi 1 Feb 2011, 9:37am

    This is a great q&a. Answers most of the questions I have had about this campaign. Thanks.

  5. Great informative article… fingers crossed that it all goes to plan.

  6. Very informative thanks. I have a question though.

    Quote “European Court of Human Rights confirmed in 2008 that a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ is not an effective remedy”. So does this mean the European Court does not have the power to compell the UK government to rectify this, and if not why (i.e. or what compells the UK government to listen to some EU decisions but not other)?

  7. Carlos, it is true as you say that the UK would not be forced by the ECHR to change their laws.

    It’s a bit like international agreements: they are agreed to, but no one is going to force any country to follow it, or punish a breach of the agreement. The ECHR simply doesn’t have any sanctions for that. It’s more about cultural pressure than material punishments that makes ECHR (and int.agreements) effective.

  8. Kristin. Thanks for this.

    It concerns me then that all these agreements are simply not worth the paper they are written on, and so why bother. I’m baffled how the political world justifies why it should be different too and less accountable than the real world.

  9. Carlos, to the best of my understanding, a declaration of incompatibility is all you would get from a UK court and the fact that it isn’t considered an effective remedy is the reason why the couples can apply directly to the ECHR without exhausting legal routes in the UK.

    From Wikipedia on ECHR: “Any decision of the Court is binding on the member states and must be complied with, except if it consists of an advisory opinion [...]. This body cannot force states to comply, and the ultimate sanction for non-compliance is expulsion from the Council of Europe.”

  10. Well, this is all very good, but we should not forget that the ECtHR is not an independent court, like national courts. It is unfortunately influenced more than it should by the will of governments who have actual control of all institutions of the Council of Europe. Thus, it must always try to avoid the backlash from many homophobic governments (Russia, Poland, Greece, etc.), while providing for progress on lgbt human rights. A very difficult balancing act.

  11. I wonder where the Government equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, stands on this court challenge.

  12. All this piss and wind about a situation we shouldnt even be in, in the first place.

    Abolish CP’s and stick with one single marital process. Job done.
    All these straights are just getting in the way.

  13. I think it was very clever of Equal Love to find some heterosexual couples who wanted a civil partnership – it might get all the straights who don’t care about equal rights for LGBTs to sit up and take notice.

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