A campaign to legalize gay marriage in
Britain begins next month with eight couples challenging the
government's unions laws.
During an eight-week period ending on
December 14, a gay or straight couple will apply for a union they are
currently not eligible for.
Gay couples will request a civil
marriage, and straight couples will seek to enter a civil
partnership. Great Britain recognizes gay and lesbian couples with
civil partnerships, not marriage. Such unions are off-limits for
Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights group
UK paper the Guardian
that the campaign aims to overturn bans on gay marriage and
heterosexual civil partnerships.
If officials at British register
offices deny the requests, the group plans to sue the government,
“Don't get me wrong, civil
partnerships are an important advance,” Tatchell
wrote in a recent post at the group's blog. “They remedy many
– though not all – of the injustices that used to be experienced
by lesbian and gay couples. But they are not equality.”
“The homophobia of the ban on
same-sex civil marriage is now compounded by the heterophobia of the
ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships.”
A majority of Britons (61%) support the
legalization of gay marriage, a June 2009 poll found.