|We have lost our High Court case. Our legal Canadian marriage has been ruled invalid as a marriage in the UK. We are deeply disappointed by this judgment - not just for ourselves, but for lesbian and gay families nationwide.|
We are a British same-sex couple who legally married in Canada in 2003. For the first two years of our marriage, it had no legal recognition at all in our home country. When the Civil Partnership Act became law (December 2005), we were told our marriage was now deemed a civil partnership. A different-sex couple married in Canada would automatically have had their marriage recognised as a marriage in the UK. We believe that to treat same-sex couples differently from heterosexual couples in this way is deeply discriminatory.
With the support of the human rights organization Liberty, we sought a declaration of the validity of our marriage as a marriage in the UK. Our lawyers argued that any failure to recognise the validity of our marriage would constitute a breach of our rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Our case was heard by the President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Mark Potter, on 6-8 June 2006. His judgment was handed down on 31 July. We lost.
The judge agreed that we are treated differently from a heterosexual couple, and that this constitutes discrimination. But he said that this discrimination is justified in order to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, primarily to produce children. Drawing on British and European case law, he also ruled that a same-sex couple does not constitute 'a family'.
Read the full text of the .High Court Judgment.
Denying our marriage does nothing to protect heterosexual marriage. It upholds discrimination and inequality. The judgment does not reflect the diversity of marriage and family life in Britain today. It will not stand the test of time.
Read the full text of .Our Statement following the Judgment.Read .Reactions to the Judgment.