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Straight Holloway couple re-launch bid for gay civil partnership

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 November 2010

Katherine Doyle and Tom Freeman

Katherine Doyle and Tom Freeman

Dieter Perry.

A STRAIGHT Islington couple are leading a renewed campaign to overturn the twin ban on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships.

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, both 26, of North Road, Holloway, are demanding a civil partnership in the interests of “heterosexual equality”.

They say that denying civil partnerships to straight couples who disagree with marriage is “discriminatory”.

The pair were turned down for a civil partnership at Islington Town Hall, in Upper Street, exactly 12 months ago, but are set to try for a second time tomorrow (Tuesday) <NOV11> as part of the Equal Love Campaign.

Mr Freeman, an administrator, said: “We want to secure official status for our relationship in a way that supports the call for complete equality and is free of the negative, sexist connotations of marriage.

“We’d prefer a civil partnership. But if we cannot have one, we won’t get married. On a point of principle, we’ll remain unmarried until opposite-sex couples can have a civil partnership and same-sex couples can have a civil marriage.

“We are taking this stand against discrimination and in support of legal equality for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.”

The campaign, co-ordinated by human rights activist Peter Tatchell, has seen Mr Freeman and Ms Doyle join forces with seven other gay and straight couples.

The lead gay couple in the campaign were denied a heterosexual marriage in Greenwich earlier this month.

If all eight couples have their requests for civil partnerships or marriages turned down they will launched on joint legal challenge on human rights grounds.

Mr Tatchell said: “In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. There should be no legal discrimination. The twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and on opposite-sex civil partnerships are a form of sexual apartheid. There is one law for straight couples and another law for gay partners. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Islington Town Hall is among the most popular locations in Britain for civil partnerships, with the council raking in over £1million through weddings and civil ceremonies in the last three years alone.

Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, has backed Mr Freeman and Ms Doyle’s stance.


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