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What Celia and Sue have gone through should never have happened. Equality should mean just that.

Sandi Tokski, Celia & Sue
Sandi Toksvig

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Thanks for your struggle - I do  believe that it's very important for homosexuals worldwide. The more countries legalize same-sex marriage the more difficult it'll be for Russian authorities to ignore rights of Russian gays and lesbians. I wish you the best and hope you will win.

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Queerumir
Katherine Marsova,
Editor Russian Queerumir.ru

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The Equal Marriage BRights campaign adds the voices of brights to the clamour for equality in the civic treatment of sexuality.

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The Brights

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Press for Change, which works for the rights of transgender people and transsexual people, fully supports Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson's claim to have their  legal Canadian marriage recognised in the UK, just as the UK recognises other Canadian marriages.  We positively welcome any move towards accepting and valuing same-sex partnerships through the institution of marriage. Many trans people still retain the happy marriage they have with the person they met when they were once the opposite sex. These couples have often gone through hell and back to work out how to keep a happy marriage despite the 'change of sex' of one of the partners. Now, as one spouse applies for his or her legal gender recognition, these same happy couples are being asked to end their married bliss because it is a 'same sex' marriage.  Where else and for what reason does the law demand that people divorce to get their human rights?  There are many married trans people crossing their fingers and hoping for what would be a right and just recognition of Celia and Sue's marriage.  It  would be one step towards enabling them to retain their own happy marriages.

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Press for Change
Professor Stephen Whittle
Vice-President, Press for Change


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Just as civil partnership should be available to opposite-sex couples, marriage should be available to same-sex couples. Any segregation on the grounds of sex or sexuality is odious, irrational and means our supposedly liberal society fails to treat its citizens equally.

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Equal Partnership Campaign
Bethan Ingram
Founder of the Equal Partnership Campaign


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I give my support to this call for recognition of this same-sex marriage.   It makes no sense if we erect borders to equality.  Indeed mutual recognition is vital if we are to ensure the free movement of people without discrimination

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Michael Cashman MEP
Michael Cashman, Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands

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Australian Marriage Equality is completely behind Celia and Sue in their fight for equality. A vital part of the worldwide push for equality involves individuals standing up to discrimination and demanding fair treatment. Your case will have implications not just for the UK and Europe but also for countries like Australia. We are inspired by your tenacity and wish you all the best.

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Australian Marriage Equality
Peter Furness, National Convener Australian Marriage Equality

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Marriage is about two people who love each other and want to share their lives with one another, regardless of their sexual orientation. Same-sex couples should be given the same recognition under law as every other loving committed couple. Anything less is inequality under the law.

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Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign, the largest advocacy organization for gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the United States.

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As part of its campaigns for human rights, equality, and against religious privilege, the British Humanist Association has always advocated total equality for people of all sexual orientations. We campaigned for the straightforward, logical and equitable step of allowing same-sex marriages in preference to civil partnerships, because it seemed the only equitable reform, and because so much opposition was faith-based.

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Humanist Association
Andrew Copson, British Humanist Association


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In 2005, the American Psychiatric Association resolved to support "the legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage with all rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes restrictions to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities" .Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage POSITION STATEMENT.
The APA believes that marriage is associated with unique set of benefits that provide legal and economic protections to adults in committed relationships and to their children.   However, same-sex couples experience several kinds of state-sanctioned discrimination that can adversely affect the stability of their relationships and their  mental health.  Therefore, equal access to the  institution of civil marriage is consistent with the  APA's opposition, since 1974, to any discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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Jack Drescher, MD,  Past Chair (2000-2006) American Psychiatric Association Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues


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The Green Party has a deep commitment to equality and human rights. Discrimination based on innate characteristics like sexual orientation, race and gender are particularly offensive in a civilised society. In post-apartheid South Africa, it would have been unthinkable to create an institution of Civil Partnerships solely for mixed race couples, with the parallel and more prestigious institution of marriage reserved for same race couples.  If the courts are unable or unwilling to interpret legislation to enable this recognition, the Green Party will campaign for a change in the law, to ensure the fundamental human right of marriage is available to all - regardless of sexual orientation or gender.  ... We wish Celia and Sue the very best of luck in their challenge..

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Green Party
Nigel Tart, Green Party


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The Lesbian and Gay Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society support Sue and Celia's case to get their marriage legally recognised. We agree with the resolution by the American Psychological Association (APA)  which argues that laws against same-sex marriage are a form of discrimination based on sexual orientation. The  Civil Partnerships Act still does not place lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans citizens in 'same sex' relationships in a position of equity with people in 'opposite sex' relationships. We do not recognize the restriction of marriage rights as valid or defensible on psychological or other grounds and wish Celia and Sue all the best in their courageous challenge.

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British Psychological  Society Lesbian & Gay Section
Committee of the Lesbian and Gay Psychology Section
of the British Psychological Society


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The Psychology of Women Section (POWS) of the British Psychological Society fully support Sue and Celia’s position on the current legislation which discriminates against same-sex marriage in Britain. POWS has always believed in confronting stereotypical assumptions which limit people’s life choices. Celia and Sue have shown and continue to show courage in leading this High Court challenge, which has crucial implications for lesbian and gay rights across Europe. We hope that they succeed in this important endeavour.

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PoWS
Karen Ciclitira, Chair Elect
Psychology of Women Section
of the British Psychological Society
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The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) is a Christian church founded in the late 1960s to offer a church home, primarily but not exclusively, to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered folks.   MCC is the largest lesbian/ gay/ bisexual/ transgendered organisation in the world with around 300 congregations in 17 different countries. MCC sees marriage as a permanent and faithful relationship between two people, blessed by God and recognised by the State as well as the couple's family and friends.  We make no distinction between the marriage of same or opposite sex couples.  We believe that the Christian understanding of both marriage and humanity supports our commitment to equal access to marriage for both same-sex and different-sex couples.  We support Celia and Sue in their case for recognition of their marriage in the UK.

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Manchester Metropolitan Church
The Rev Andy Braunston
Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of Manchester


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We understand marriage to be a gift and blessing from God - a creative relationship in which God's blessing enables a couple to love and support each other.  With the recognition of same-sex marriage, the dignity of committed same-sex relationships will be fully affirmed.  To exchange marriage vows before God would remove the undermining sense of second best that pertains with civil partnership.  As evangelical Christians, we support Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger's request for their legal same-sex Canadian marriage to be recognised as a marriage in the UK.

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Evangelical lesbian gay christian fellowship
Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians

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Marriage Equality USA applauds Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger as they stand up for their relationship and the right to have their marriage recognized. Same-sex couples in the UK and the USA like Sue and Celia who have been married in Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium are still subject to discriminatory marriage laws when they return home. Treating same-sex couples as second-class citizens is wrong. This discrimination must end!  We join in solidarity with their struggle which mirrors the battle we are fighting to end marriage discrimination in the USA.

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Why You Should Give A Damn.
Marriage Equality USADavina Kotulski, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA
Author of Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage


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I strongly support Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson in their efforts to bring this country into the twenty-first century.  We've already got a civil partnership law; to argue over what is really a semantic point - that is, balking at the word 'marriage'   -  is really absurd.  We want true equality for gay people and this would be an important step towards it.

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Claire Rayner
Writer, broadcaster, health campaigner and the UK's best known agony aunt


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Couples like Sue and Celia who are doing the hard work of marriage in their lives, who are contributing to the community and caring for one another, who have joined in marriage in Canada or anywhere else, deserve to see their committed union, their marriage, treated with respect. One of the main protections that comes with marriage is the word marriage -- and the security and clarity it brings. Sue and Celia are entitled to the legal commitment that matches their personal commitment, and that commitment is called marriage. The state should accord them equality under the law -- the same rules, the same responsibilities, and the same respect.

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Freedom To MarryWhy Marriage Matters
Evan Wolfson
Executive Director of Freedom to Marry
www.freedomtomarry.org
and author of Why Marriage Matters


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OutRage! fully supports Sue and Celia’s position. This is a historic challenge to a grave injustice. It is the first step towards overturning the ban on same-sex marriage in Britain. The government has created a system of sexual apartheid where gays are banned from marriage and straights are banned from civil partnerships.  This two-tiered system of partnership law is not equality – it perpetuates and extends discrimination. There should be one law for everyone. Equality means opening up civil marriage to lesbian and gay partners, and making civil partnerships available to heterosexual couples.

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We welcome the Government’s broad commitment to the principle of equal treatment without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, but point out that this can be fully achieved only by opening marriage to all. Placing restrictions on the respective sex of the partners is as abhorrent as, say, placing restrictions on the respective race of the partners. Rapidly growing international acceptance of this principle means there is no longer any need to introduce yet another "registered partnership" scheme as an ersatz form of marriage.

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Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
PeterTatchell

Gay Lesbian Humanist Association


Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association


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We offer our unreserved support for Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger in their legal challenge to have their marriage, performed in Canada, recognised in the United Kingdom. Egale Canada was founded in 1986 to advance equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified people, and their families, across Canada. Our organisation believes that the right of same-sex couples to have access to the civil institution of marriage is a fundamental equality right supported by the principles of human rights. Courts in Canada, and in Massachusetts and South Africa, have found that denying same-sex couples the equal right to marry is contrary to the principles of human rights and there is no reasonable basis for this discrimination. Equal human rights is not a limited-size blanket; it has the capacity to expand in order to cover more people and in so doing becomes stronger. Egale Canada wishes Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger all the best in their endeavour. Their legal battle is about fairness, justice and equality.

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Gilles Marchildon, Executive Director, Egale Canada
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Our hearts are with our U.K. sisters and brothers as they continue their struggle for full and equal rights as citizens. Although we applaud the extension of rights to those who were previously disadvantaged in the U.K., civil partnerships are not the answer to the discrimination we face. When they offered as a choice to any couple, civil partnerships are acceptable. But when they are offered only to same-sex couples and in place of marriage, they are nothing more than an attempt to perpetuate a social policy of segregation.

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Just Married Book
Equal Marriage CanadaKevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell
Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples, Canada
Authors of Just Married:
Gay Marriage & the Expansion of Human Rights


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Why did you feel sad when you were a child and your friends left you out of their game? Why does it hurt when you don't get invited to a party that everyone else is going to? Why does it make you angry when someone gets a promotion over you that seems unfair? I am a 21 year old lesbian with no intention of getting married. Many of my heterosexual friends are also not planning weddings for the near or far future. But it's different for me. For them it's a choice, whether political or not, based on their relationships or based on their principles. They are empowered by the fact that they have a right which I am denied. Marriage is, at the end of the day, the game I'm left out of, the party I'm not invited to, the job I deserved and wasn't given. I don't want to live in a world in which people are given different opportunities and rights based on discrimination of one sort or another. I also don't like being discriminated against. It doesn't feel nice. It's about equality. Equal marriage is symbolic. I don't want to be a second class citizen anymore.

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Rose Rickford LGBT Officer University of York Student Union

 

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The Loughborough Students' Union LGBT Association believes that Civil Partnerships intensify the inequality between heterosexuals and LGB people. LGB people form loving relationships in exactly the same way as our heterosexual counterparts. Love is not limited by the gender of the person with whom a relationship is entered into, and so it is only right that a lesbian or gay couple should be able to marry in exactly the same way as heterosexuals. As long as marriage is not available to same-sex couples, discrimination and inequality continue to exist. The LSU-LGBTA therefore publicly calls for an end to this inequality, and believes that same-sex couples should be granted the right to marry in the United Kingdom. In line with this policy, we fully support Sue and Celia in their legal case to have their Canadian marriage recognised as a marriage in the UK.

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Babak Erfani
Chairman
Loughborough Students' Union LGBT Association

 

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The NSS supports Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson's case, and condemns the UK Government's refusal to recognise same sex couples' valid marriages as shamefully prejudiced and discriminatory.  It is now the principal discrimination remaining in law against homosexuals and the Government has yet satisfactorily to explain why it settled for the "some are more equal than others" expedient of civil partnership exclusively for same-sex couples to whom full civil marriage is denied.  We suspect the motive to be appeasement of religious leaders. There seems no other plausible explanation for its reluctance, given the much fairer and legislatively easier alternative of opening up marriage to same-sex couples.

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Secular Society
Keith Porteous Wood FCCA, Executive Director,
National Secular Society

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We who fought in Canada to obtain same-sex marriage rights are aggrieved that those wed here, including Celia and Sue, so much in love, do not have their marriages recognized on equal footing with heterosexual marriages. Downgrading their marriage to a civil union is a way to stamp "second-class citizens" right across their foreheads.  If the UK government wonąt treat Celia and Sue as equals, how can they compel their employers, friends and relatives to do so?  We wish the couple much luck and speed in their court case.

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Queer Marriage
Jane Eaton Hamilton and Joy Masuhara
Litigants in the Canadian court case for same-sex marriage. Vancouver, BC, Canada

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As LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) Christians, we would like to offer Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson our support in their campaign to get their marriage recognised in the UK. We accept that some gay couples may prefer civil partnerships to marriage, as some straight couples choose civil weddings. Marriage includes vows of fidelity and permanence made in front of friends, family and, for some, God. Christians should support such stable, faithful and loving relationships, rather than insulting and degrading them, as the spokesman for the Evangelical Alliance did. We hope that Celia and Sue's campaign will be an inspiration to many.

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Young Lesbian &  Gay Christians
Elizabeth Allison, Martin Bailey, Martin Carr, Jamie Carter, Chris Dicken and others,
Members of Young LGBT Christians, Rickmansworth, Herts


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Thank you so much for coming to talk and remind us of the terrible discrimination that still goes on. To be so eloquent, honest and open at what you have faced is a feat. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration.

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Jenny, NUS LGBT Conference

 

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My partner and I (both Canadian citizens) were married in Victoria, B.C. on Mar. 6th, 2005. It was particularly joyous and meaningful to be married in my sister's front room, surrounded by family, friends and photos of those who were certainly there in spirit (including my mum and dad). We are currently studying in the UK but will soon return to Canada comforted by the notion that our union will be recognized for what it is - marriage - in our home country. I wish you every success with your fight; I hope sexual minorities throughout the United Kingdom recognize the importance of your stance and your actions. Thanks for your courage and conviction.

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Michael Reed & Richard Saucier
University of York

 

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As a psychiatrist in the USA, where same-sex marriage is only available in one state (Massachusetts), and where legislative bans on it are proliferating, I strongly support Sue and Celia's efforts to have their marriage recognised in the UK. LGBT couples deserve marriage on exactly the same basis as heterosexual couples. Marriage is good for couples, good for society, and good for mental health.

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Nanette Gartrell, MD.
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Center of Excellence in Women's Health,
University of California at San Francisco.

 

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As a committed Christian I believe that all are equal in the eyes of God, that we do not have the right to be judgmental or discriminatory towards our fellow beings and that same-sex couples can fully demonstrate the love of God in their relationships.  I know of many same-sex couples who have been together longer than opposite-sex couples and contribute to the stability of society and the long-term care of children.  They deserve proper recognition by our society and our church. I have been married for 36 years and cannot comprehend that my marriage or that of others, will be in any way downgraded or made meaningless by the winning of a court case to promote equality for lesbian and gay couples!  Good luck to you.

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Margaret Evans,  Worcestershire, England

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I have been following the case on the internet and wanted to extend to you my best wishes for success in your case and my thanks to you for mounting this challenge to the government on this issue.   My partner and I have been together 19 years and have a daughter who is 8.   Whilst we wish to have equal legal and financial status it sticks in my throat to accept a CP which feels like participating in a sexual orientation apartheid system."  Yours in solidarity,

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Mel Wraight, Nottingham UK

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I am proud to support Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson in the effort to have their Canadian marriage recognized in the U.K. While it would make even better sense if they could be legally married at home in the U.K., recognition of their Canadian marriage would be a step in the right direction.  Without harming anyone, legal recognition of marriages among same-sex couples benefits us all.   Allowing Celia and Sue to legalize their marriage in the U.K. would harm nobody, and would provide greater freedom for everyone."

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 Charlotte Patterson, University of Virginia

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I've just read the BBC News website about your court case and I wanted to say 'good luck' to you both, and although you are asserting your own rights, you are of course asserting mine too. I wanted you to know that I am grateful to you that in claiming your own human rights you are claiming them for all of us.

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 Ian Hunter, Durham

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Six months and a day since coming into force, the CPA already finds itself before the courts on a charge of human rights  violation.  Unsurprising, because the Bill was inherently discriminatory right from the start.   Equality does not reside in half-way houses. There can be no excuse for denying marriage to same-sex couples.

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Stephen Harrison, UK

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I am a UK citizen living in Canada, and have been legally married to my same sex partner for the past three years of our 22 year relationship. Our marriage means so much to us.   We are both eternally grateful to the gay and lesbian pioneers who led the way for us, and many couples like us, to be finally accepted as equals in society.  I've never had the chance to write to any of them before, but now I can. I just want to take the opportunity to wish you all the luck in the world, to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and to let you know that what you're doing is appreciated more than you can possibly imagine. Without true pioneers like yourselves we'd still all be living in the back of our closets.  I'll be following your court case in the press. My fingers, arms, toes and legs will be crossed for you both, and I'll be looking forward to shedding many tears of happiness when you win.
Bless you both.

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Alan Soden, Canada

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It seems only seems right that your legal marriage should be recognised as such in your own country.  I am a New Zealand woman who lives in a heterosexual relationship.  In New Zealand gay couples cannot get married but both gay and heterosexual couples can enter a civil union.   Although New Zealand is typically liberal and progressive on gender and sexuality issues, I am disappointed at the number of New Zealand heterosexual couples who continue to chose marriage over civil union.  If gay couples can't get married then it is only decent that heterosexuals should reject an institution from which gay people are still excluded.

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Ann Weatherall, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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We support Celia and Sue and believe the marriage you entered into in Canada should have exactly the same recognition as would be given to any heterosexual couple. We have been together 31 years and still have reservations about marriage as an institution.  For us it has too many cultural links to religions. But, we believe that you should be able to exercise your choice, to be married and believe our likely choice of a civil partnership should also be made available to heterosexual couples. Best of luck for the case.

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Caroline Banks and Jacky Bishop, London

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We are a Christian couple who became civil partners at the end of last year, and we were surprised by how emotional it was to have our  relationship legally recognised.  However legal rights alone do not express the core  of our relationship, which is fundamentally about being bound together spiritually and emotionally.  Public vows of love, permanence and fidelity; a ceremony where we could rejoice in our relationship before God, our families and friends; and a celebration - which we saw as key parts of the transition from singleness to commitment - are not a necessary part of Civil Partnerships.  We fully support Celia and Sue's case for their marriage to be recognised as  such in the UK.

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Rachel Holt and Sarah Hagger
Rickmansworth, Herts

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We read this morning about your fight to have your marriage recognised in this country, and wanted to send you our very best  wishes. We're constantly amazed at the way in which bigotry and sheer lack of common sense combine to keep same-sex couples from having the same rights as male-female couples, and would very much welcome legal parity for all. We hope to read of your victory in court sooner rather than later.

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Karen Abbott & Tom Murphy

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I want to wish you and Sue the very best in getting your marriage recognised in this country. Being a straight male I have no particular axe to grind but am constantly saddened by the double standards that apply to lesbian and gay people in this country. The spurious argument of Don Horrocks, head of public affairs at the Evangelical Alliance, (Observer 28 May 2006) only served to make me sadder and angrier. So I hope you get the verdict that you and thousands of others deserve.

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Pete Thomas, University of Central Lancashire

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Although I am entering a Civil Partnership later this year, and am glad to be able to do so under the new legislation, I wish I had the opportunity to marry instead. The government claims that Civil Partnership is marriage in all but name, however, the two do not share the same social status. In announcing the news of our pending civil partnership we have had mixed responses from family and friends - many have not so much as congratulated us, few have acknowledged our engagement with cards or gifts, and even my mother said that she "would not recognise it as a marriage". I just don't feel like we are being taken seriously. If we had been given the opportunity to marry, what we are doing would be recognised and understood by others as being the same as a heterosexual marriage. To set up a system whereby same-sex couples are denied access to the widely understood and socially validated institution of marriage and offered instead a separate institution is, in effect, apartheid. Institutionalising difference in this way not only implies that same-sex couples are inferior to heterosexual ones, but legitimates discrimination against us.

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Sonja Ellis

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