separate, unequal

Why Won’t Britain Let Straight Couple Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle Get Gay Married (Again)?

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, a breeder British couple, want to get gay married. Or at least gay “married,” because in Britain the only knots gays can tie are civil partnerships — an institution reserved only for same-sex couples. How heterophobic, right?

So this 26-year-old pair is trying to challenge the country’s discriminatory marriage laws, which are definitely separate but certainly not equal. Yesterday they applied for, and were denied a civil partnership license, and now they’re heading to court to challenge all this nonsense that started in 2005, when lawmakers approved civil unions for gays only.

“The titles of husband and wife and all the things that pop into people’s heads when you say you’re getting married don’t appeal to us,” says Doyle, a student. “In our day-to-day life we feel like civil partners — we don’t feel like husband and wife, and we want the government to recognize that.” And they’ve got the support of gay rights activists like Peter Tatchell, so you know how this thing is going to play out: loudly.

Which, uh, it already has been, since Freeman and Doyle aren’t new at this. They tried a similar stunt this time last year as 25-year-olds, and it had the same results: being denied a marriage license. And Tatchell had their backs then, too. But now maybe they’re serious about mounting a legal challenge, and needed yesterday’s application denial to satisfy their strategy.