Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law
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Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law

Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine

This innovative and thought-provoking Research Handbook explores not only current debates in the area of gender, sexuality and the law but also points the way for future socio-legal research and scholarship. It presents wide-ranging insights and debates from across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia, with contributions from leading scholars and activists alongside exciting emergent voices.
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Chapter 2: From the litigants perspective: Wilkinson v Kitzinger and the pursuit of marriage equality in England and Wales

Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger


We are a British lesbian couple who married legally in Canada, but subsequently had our marriage deemed a civil partnership in England and Wales. We brought a High Court case (Wilkinson v Kitzinger & Ors [2006]) seeking a declaration of the validity of our marriage as a marriage in our home country, alleging breaches of our human rights. We lost our case, but continued to pursue marriage equality, which was eventually won in England and Wales (as well as in Scotland) in 2014. In this chapter we explain why we got married in Canada and discuss our experience of bringing (and losing) this High Court case, and its repercussions. We end by reflecting on the current situation of marriage equality worldwide.

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