ONTD Political

U.K. Straight Couple Applies for Civil Partnership

11:55 pm - 11/23/2009
By Christopher Mangum
Tom Freeman Katherine Doyle X180 (FAIR USE DIETER PERRY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle hope to make history on Tuesday by becoming the first straight couple to apply for a civil partnership in the United Kingdom.

The pair expect to be turned down by the registrar due to the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships, but they plan on appealing the refusal.

"If necessary, we are ready to take our appeal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights,"said Freeman and Doyle in a press release.

"Because we feel alienated from the patriarchal traditions of marriage, we would prefer to have a civil partnership. As a mixed-sex couple, we are banned by law from doing so,” explained Doyle in the couple’s statement. “By filing an application for civil partnership, we are seeking to challenge this discriminatory law.

The two 25 years-old civil servants also decided to apply for a civil partnership because of their disdain for the ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

"Our decision is also motivated by the fact that we object to the way same-sex couples are prohibited from getting married. If we got married we would be colluding with the segregation that exists in matrimonial law between gay civil partnerships and straight civil marriage," added Doyle.

Currently under U.K. law, same-sex couples are banned from civil marriage and heterosexual couples are banned from civil partnerships.

dumblesinwinter 24th-Nov-2009 06:06 am (UTC)
dagchristine 24th-Nov-2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
i love this gif and i always wonder who simon was watching when he made such a contented face.
randomneses 24th-Nov-2009 06:07 am (UTC)
That's nice.
schexyschteve 24th-Nov-2009 06:07 am (UTC)
See, if clergy were never allowed to legally join two people in the first place, this wouldn't an issue. Everyone gets a civil union/partnership/whatever and that's that. If you want to be religiously married, go for it, but it doesn't count for legal benefits.
maleria_withav 24th-Nov-2009 06:09 am (UTC)
WUT to that nonsense law.
grimalkinrn 24th-Nov-2009 06:12 am (UTC)
Good for them.
leprofessional 24th-Nov-2009 06:12 am (UTC)
the source doesn't say what the legal difference between civil marrirage and civil partnerships are in the UK... can anyone elaborate?
phoenixwish 24th-Nov-2009 06:25 am (UTC)
According to wikipedia, there is no difference except in name.
chasingtides 24th-Nov-2009 06:13 am (UTC)
Good on them.
brewsternorth 24th-Nov-2009 03:18 pm (UTC)

iconlove. OMGcute.
vodkabeforenoon 24th-Nov-2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Gosh they look ugly. Please do not populate the earth with a mug like that.
nowadventuring 24th-Nov-2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Minus 2 internet points.
siobhanc92 24th-Nov-2009 06:36 am (UTC)
Good for them, but isn't this frowned upon for civil servants? due to them being being politically neutral and all ... I'm not sure what is considered political though.
suitablyemoname 24th-Nov-2009 06:50 am (UTC)
"Civil servant" these days can mean anything from "senior advisor to the Prime Minister" right on down to "part-time desk clerk at the Tunbridge Wells vehicle registration office".

Edited at 2009-11-24 06:51 am (UTC)
radioactivepiss 24th-Nov-2009 06:42 am (UTC)
Good for them. If they feel uncomfortable with the word marriage but want the legal aspect, I fail to see why they can't do it.

We should just have civil unions and let people call them WTF they want, IMO.
aymaera 24th-Nov-2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Clearly these people are awesome
noheadlines 24th-Nov-2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Aw... that's a cool sentiment. And I think they're a cute couple, if slightly nerdy-looking.

Also, because I'm a smug bitch I'd like to point out that here in NZ civil unions are legal for two people of any gender. \m/
deepbluemermaid 24th-Nov-2009 07:55 am (UTC)
Heh, I was just going to make the same comment!

One of my female friends has a male partner, and both of them identify as bi. They deliberately chose to get a civil union rather than get married, partly out of dislike for the patriarchal institution of marriage and partly out of solidarity for their queer friends.
firstillusion 24th-Nov-2009 07:41 am (UTC)
You go, Glenn Coco!

To be honest, I sort of hope that it makes it all the way to the European Court of Human Rights - for I believe it will rule in their favour and this will be a big step.

Yes, I am incredibly optimistic tonight.
ricour 24th-Nov-2009 07:44 am (UTC)
it's funny, with the advent of civil partnerships most people in britain are still not aware that marriage is still strictly defined in law as being between a man and a woman (and that court cases brought by same-sex couples wishing to have their marriages abroad recognised as such get told to GTFO).

i hate how most people who consider themselves ~right-on~ are also so willing to cede the word "marriage" to the religious on this particular issue, when they have no problem with heterosexual civil marriages. people got married before the advent of churches, ffs. they don't own the institution.
meran_flash 24th-Nov-2009 07:54 am (UTC)
salienne 24th-Nov-2009 11:45 am (UTC)
Between this and the kid who refused to say the Pledge, I'm getting some faith in humanity again.
olivetree 24th-Nov-2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
theartistprince 24th-Nov-2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
I didn't know the UK had a ban on civil unions for straight couples. That's pretty odd.

France has civil unions for straight people as well as same-sex couples. I don't know why I know that but I do. ~~fact of the day~~
calimazan 24th-Nov-2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
It's been the same in Spain for many years. People wanted tax benefits and to solve things like wills without getting married. I can't remember if same-sex couples could apply to that, though.
yan_tan_tether 24th-Nov-2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
This is awesome! I'll be interested to see what happens.
unesecondevie 24th-Nov-2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
what is the rationale behind heterosexual couples not being able to get a civil union? maybe the UK needs PACs.
brewsternorth 24th-Nov-2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
I suspect that's what this couple is aiming for, or something like it. They *can* get a registry-office marriage, but it still rests on some rather old-fashioned assumptions.

(for those following along, PACS = pacte civile de solidarité, the French version of civil unions)
samanarana 24th-Nov-2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
This is why the government shouldn't be involved in marriage. ~____~
dragonhawker 24th-Nov-2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
It really is mind boggling how various people, all with the same general values, can look at an issue like this and come to completely polar opposite conclusions.
lisaee 24th-Nov-2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
How bizarre that it's banned. The more you know ...

I guess I assumed differently because my parents were married in the same place, by the same person as married a lesbian couple we know. Neither were what I'd call religious ceremonies by any means.
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