British straight couples sue for the right to civil partnerships

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Tomorrow, four same-sex couples will apply for civil marriages and four heterosexual couples will apply for civil partnerships in England. And all will be denied their request, because in the U.K., only straight couples can get a civil marriage, and only gay couples can get a civil partnership. While at first this might sound a bit absurd — heterosexual couples bemoaning how they are also an oppressed group or whatever — this is actually a rather canny campaign called Equal Love thought up by OutRage!, a British LGBT rights group. The idea is to highlight the fact that the "twin bans" on gay couples getting a marriage and straight couples getting a civil partnership clearly create different laws and rights for different groups. From their website:

Every week until 14 December, one couple will make an application. If the couples are turned away, as we expect they will be, we plan to take legal action. Denying them equal treatment is contrary to the Human Rights Act.

Our legal team will argue in the courts that the bans on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships are an unlawful and unjustified discrimination. In a democracy, gay and straight couples should be equal before the law.

They're not wrong! And hopefully the British courts will see the clear double standard that this group is attempting to highlight. (Though this is not the first time a heterosexual British couple has tried to get a civil partnership.) Now, if only we could do the same here in the U.S.