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Women ask British
court to legally recognize their Canadian marriage

Women ask British
court to legally recognize their Canadian marriage

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Two women married in Canada are now asking Britain to recognize their marriage, which the U.K. government has deemed a "civil partnership" under the country's new law.

Two British women married in Canada are now asking Britain to recognize their marriage, which the U.K. government has deemed a "civil partnership" under the country's new law. Sue Wilkinson, 49, and Celia Kitzinger, 52, allege in their case before Britain's high court that their human rights are being violated because their union is seen as something less than marriage, the Associated Press reports. "Our experience of marriage is that it's a lot more than just a word," Kitzinger said to the AP before a court hearing Tuesday. "We're not going to gain any more protections or rights, as far as we know. Since that's the case, why this fierce opposition? Our government's reaction is that they think it's more than just a word; otherwise, they wouldn't oppose us." Since December, same-sex couples in Britain have been able to enter into civil partnerships, which give them most of the same legal and financial rights as married straight couples. But that does not go far enough for Wilkinson and Kitzinger, who were married in Vancouver in August 2003. "We already have a marriage," Wilkinson told the AP. "And being told that 'you don't have a marriage, you have a civil partnership' is pretty hurtful." British legal experts are unsure whether the women will prevail in court. Patricia Hollings, a family-law specialist, told the AP that she expected the high court "will not find their claim persuasive" because it will see civil partnerships as conceptually the same as marriage. However, she added, if the women can show they have been directly affected by the distinction between civil partnerships and marriage, then they may have a case. A ruling is expected in July. (The Advocate)

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