VIDEO: Gay men in battle over marriage rights

A gay couple from Thurnscoe hope a last-minute reprieve may allow them to get married in March.

Dads Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice’s battle to get wed is on national television today, as moves towards seeking a judicial review in to gaps in necessary government legislation are made by their legal representatives.

Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice.

Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice.

The men, who have adopted autistic twins, are in a civil partnership and wanted to marry on the historic date of March 29, to be among the first gay couples to marry in the UK.

But they discovered that legislation is not yet in place to allow the transfer from civil partnership to marriage, unless the couple effectively split up first - a difficult and lengthy process.

Furthermore, full legislation is not expected to be completed until at least the end of the year.

The couple are supported in their plea for action by Dearne MP John Healey, and their local Church of England vicar, who would, but is unable to marry them in his church by law.

Solicitors Irwin Mitchell, representing the men, are pushing for a full judicial review over the Government’s lack of legislation to allow the men to move ahead swiftly with their plans.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work hard to ensure that couples wanting to convert their civil partnerships into marriages are able to do so as soon as possible. We aim to do this before the end of 2014. The conversion process will ensure that couples in civil partnerships do not have a break in their legal relationship, which could have implications for matters such as their pension entitlements.

Full story in South Yorkshire Times this Thursday