A straight British couple who do not want to get married but want to be bound together with a civil partnership were told Tuesday that it was not possible as civil partnership was meant for same-sex couples.
Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, both 25-year-old civil servants, were turned away from Islington Registry Office in north London because the law says civil partnerships brought in here in 2005 are only for same-sex couples.
Undeterred, the couple said they will take their fight for equality to court.
"We want to secure official status for our relationship in a way that supports the call for complete equality and is free of the negative connotations of marriage," Freeman said.
"If we cannot have a civil partnership, we will not get married."
A spokesman for Islington Council said: "The law dictates that a civil partnership is only for couples of the same sex. The council must follow the law."
There are a small number of differences between a marriage and a civil partnership, including that a marriage can be conducted in a church, while a civil partnership cannot.