Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Equal Love Files

The Equal Love case has been filed to European Court. Eight British couples - four gay and four heterosexual - have filed a joint legal application to the European Court of Human Rights today, Wednesday, 2 February, seeking to overturn the twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships (picture credited to Chris Houston). An academic alwyer, Robert Wintemute is at the forefront of the campaign, commenting in a press release that:

“Our Equal Love campaign wants both marriages and civil partnerships opened up to all couples, different-sex and same-sex. Let everyone have a free and equal choice,” said Professor Wintemute.

“Banning same-sex marriage and different-sex civil partnerships violates Articles 8, 12 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“It's discriminatory and obnoxious, like having separate drinking fountains or beaches for different racial groups, even though the water is the same. The only function of the twin bans is to mark lesbian and gay people as socially and legally inferior to heterosexual people.

"I am confident that we have a good chance of persuading the European Court of Human Rights that the UK's system of segregating couples into two 'separate but equal' legal institutions violates the European Convention. I predict that same-sex couples will be granted access to marriage in the UK and that this will be because the UK Government will eventually accept that it cannot defend the current discriminatory system,” he said.

Wintemeute is a highly respected human rights lawyer and his support of the case (he's also been a big activist of LGBT equality in Russia) adds weight to the case. That said, I remain pessimistic about the outcome but I continue to wish the campaign well.

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