(Blogmensgo, gay blog of 16 November 2015) Two gay men who had gotten married in England last year and are now living in Northern Ireland are suing the government for degradation because their marriage has no value in Northern Ireland, which is the only part of the UK that has not legalized same-sex marriage yet.
Beginning of the legal battle
The two men want to stay anonymous and only voice their opinion via their lawyer, Karen Quinlivan. The couple refuses to be considered married on one side of the border but not on the other side.
The case will be heard before a higher court in Belfast, and there are several arguments to the complaint.
The first argument is that the gay couple is suffering from discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation.
The second argument is that this discriminatory treatment has “demeaned, devalued and undermined” their marriage and its attributes. Also, the non-recognition of their status as a married couple has perplexed and distressed themselves as well as others around them. What is worse, the devaluation of their marriage occurs without the spouses’ consent.
And lastly, the fact of not being recognized as a married couple takes away from them the possibility to adopt a child, which they had intended to.
Vague and difficult legal agenda
Based on these reasons, the gay couple requests their union be fully recognized as a regular marriage, which ultimately means they are contesting Northern Ireland’s same-sex marriage act of 2013.
This legal battle, a first in Northern Ireland, may take quite some time.
Motion in / by the parliament
Based on a veto by the protestant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on November 2nd, the Northern Irish parliament rejected a motion to legalize gay marriage.
Despite the negative outcome, The Rainbow Project, an LGBT organization supporting the couple’s legal fight, welcomed this “historic vote for the equality of civil marriage.”