This is a press release from Equal Love
On the fifth anniversary of civil partnerships in England
Time for civil marriage & civil partnership equality for all couples, gay and straight?
You are invited – public event, open to all, free admission
Tuesday, 21 December 2010, 10am to 1pm
News conference and debate – Chaired by Lord Lester QC
The Great Hall, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
See the location here:
21 December is the fifth anniversary of the first civil partnership ceremonies in England and Wales.
“You are invited to King’s College on 21 December to show your support for the Equal Love campaign, to celebrate five years of civil partnerships, to hear Lord Lester and other speakers discuss the case for ending the legal segregation of couples based on their sexual orientation, and to witness the launch of the joint legal action by the eight couples who are seeking to overturn the twin bans on same-sex marriages and different-sex civil partnerships,” said Professor. Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at the School of Law, King’s College London.
Professor Wintemute is drafting the legal case and will formally announce and launch it on 21 December.
“Our Equal Love campaign wants both marriages and civil partnerships opened up to all couples, different-sex and same-sex. Let everyone have a free and equal choice,” he added.
“At this event we will announce the joint legal action to be taken by the eight Equal Love couples. Four same-sex couples have filed applications at register offices for civil marriages. Four different-sex couples have applied for civil partnerships. All have been refused, on the grounds that the law prohibits same-sex civil marriages and different-sex civil partnerships. It is this discrimination that we intend to challenge in the courts,” said Professor Wintemute.
Programme for 21 December
10:00 to 11:00 am – Equal Love campaign news conference
The case for equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law
Peter Tatchell, human rights defender, co-founder of OutRage! and co-ordinator of theEqual Love campaign: www.equallove.org.uk
Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London
Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, and her partner Franka, on behalf of the four same-sex couples
Katherine Doyle and Thomas Freeman, on behalf of the four different-sex couples
10:30 to 10:45 am – Questions from the media
10:45 to 11:00 am – Coffee break
11:00 am to 1:00 pm – Equal Love campaign debate
How should the Government respond to the Equal Love campaign?
Chair: Lord Anthony Lester of Herne Hill QC, author of the private member’s bill that inspired the Civil Partnership Act 2004
Introductory remarks: Lord Lester
Speaker from the UK Government: no minister or civil servant available
Speaker from the Labour Party: no Labour spokesperson available
Prof. Anne Barlow, Professor of Family Law and Policy, University of Exeter
The Rev. Carla Grosch-Miller, Minister, St. Columba’s United Reformed Church, Oxford
Canon Giles Goddard, Priest in charge, St. John’s Church (Church of England), Waterloo, London
Countries, provinces and states with marriage for same-sex and different-sex couples:
17 – Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, District of Columbia), Mexico (Federal District)
Countries, provinces and states with civil partnership for same-sex and different-sex couples:
10 – Australia (Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Victoria), Canada (Québec), Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, USA (Illinois, Nevada, District of Columbia)
Countries, provinces and states with both marriages and civil partnerships open to gay and heterosexual couples ie. “Equal Love”:
3 – Canada (Québec), Netherlands, South Africa