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article imageBritish heterosexual couple refused civil partnership

By Gemma Fox     Nov 24, 2009 in Lifestyle
A heterosexual couple in the UK have had their application to join in a civil partnership refused. The couple, from London, had previously insisted that they would only join as civil partners and not in a marriage.
Previously reported on Digital Journal, Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle had tried to register their intent to join together in a civil partnership but they have now found out that they have been refused permission to register for civil partnership.
The couple wanted to challenge law in the UK that they call "discriminatory" because civil partnerships are restricted to same sex couples only.
The couple are now planning legal action after their application to register was denied at the Islington Register Office in North London.
A spokesman for Islington Council said, "The law dictates that a civil partnership is only for couples of the same sex. The council must follow the law, of course, and so we have not been able to accept Mr Freeman and Ms Doyle's application for a civil partnership."
Currently UK law only permits same sex couples to join in civil partnerships. Heterosexual couples may join legally in a marriage ceremony.
However, civil partnerships in the UK allow same sex couples the same legal rights as a heterosexual married couple. Same sex couples in a civil partnership receive the same legal treatment in matters such as inheritance, pensions and life assurance.
In the UK civil partnerships cannot legally be called a "marriage" and they can only be conducted by registrars not members of the clergy.
Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, both 25-years-old, have been together for four years and their campaign has been supported by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who said, "The ban on heterosexual civil partnerships is heterophobic. It is discriminatory and offensive. I applaud their challenge to this unjust legislation."
Speaking about his dislike of marriage because it discriminates against homosexuals, Tom Freeman said, "It would be lovely to formalise our relationship but we are completely turned off by the whole institution of marriage because it discriminates against gay people. We think gay people should be able to have a standard marriage and straight people should be able to have a civil partnership."
Katherine Doyle simply wants a choice, "We want a choice and all other couples should also have a choice, irrespective of their sexuality."
The couple want homosexual and heterosexual couples to have the same choice in how they are legally joined and insist that there should be no discrimination in choice between a civil partnership and a marriage.
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