A London couple — twenty-six-year olds Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle — are seeking the U.K. equivalent of a civil union as a protest against the continued illegality of gay marriage, reports the Guardian. Only gay couples can receive civil partnerships in England. Freeman explains,
"The 'separate but equal' system which segregates couples according to their sexuality is not equal at all. All loving couples should have access to the same institutions, regardless of sexuality. There should be parity of access."
Right on. Freeman and Doyle are joining seven other couples, gay and straight, who will petition in the coming weeks for marriages and partnerships respectively. The Guardian story also features this aside:
The campaign has some parallels with a court case in Austria, where a couple are seeking to become civil partners rather than husband and wife. The Austrian couple concerned filed for an eingetragene partnerschaft but were rejected. After taking their case to the two highest courts in Austria, the Verfassungsgericht and the Verwaltungsgericht, they are awaiting a decision.
We applaud the Austrians for their commitment to silly-sounding legal words, even as we censure them for their commitment to discrimination. (But then, in America, we're in no position to cast stones.) Relatedly, here's Dan Savage's Savage Love column advising straight couples who want to support gay marriage.