Statement read by Sue Wilkinson outside the High Court on 31 July 2006
|The judge has dismissed our petition. This means that our
valid Canadian marriage is not recognised as a marriage in this country.
We are deeply disappointed by this judgment - not just for ourselves, but for lesbian and gay families nationwide.
Three years ago we exchanged our marriage vows, promising to take each other "to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, through all our life together."
A heterosexual couple who made those vows in Canada would have their marriage honoured and respected here. Today's judgment supports the government's position that lesbians and gay men should be treated differently. We have been stripped of our marriage by the court.
According to the judge, denying our marriage will protect and support the traditional notion of marriage as a union between a man and woman primarily with the aim of producing children.
Denying our marriage does nothing to protect heterosexual marriage. It simply upholds discrimination and inequality. It sends the inescapable message that lesbian and gay relationships are inferior to heterosexual ones.
The traditional definition of marriage does not reflect the diversity of marriage and family forms in Britain today.
We are disappointed but not discouraged. The struggle for equal rights will continue. We will appeal this judgment - if we can obtain financial support to enable us to do so. We have been ordered to pay £25,000 - our entire life savings - to the government.
This judgment insults lesbians and gay men. It 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.