Monday 27 February 2017

Reproductive Justice in Europe: A panel discussion on International Women’s Day

I'm thrilled to be contributing to a panel discussion at UCL on 'Reproductive Justice in Europe' for International Women’s Day on 8th March. 

I'll be speaking about the complex interplay of race and class on people’s diverse experiences of conceiving, gestating and raising children. So things like birth control as population control, the policing of pregnancy, obstetric violence, and parenting in prison - among other light, super-fun topics. 

Please come if you can, it might not be as depressing as it sounds... 

Here's a link to the UCL event page: 

Here's a link to the Facebook page:

Finally, here are some beautiful images that capture the wide range of issues confronting campaigners for reproductive justice: 

Photo credits: Repeal Hyde Art Project  

“My overall conclusion: the appellants are right” – and yet we lost

Below is a copy of my partner Charlie's and my update to our supporters on regarding the narrow loss of our Court of Appeal challenge to the UK government's continued bar on mixed-sex civil partnerships:


Dear supporters, 

We are sorry to tell you that the Court of Appeal has gone against us. But we lost so narrowly that there’s everything to fight for. 

All three judges agreed that we’re being treated differently because of our sexual orientation, and that this impacts our private and family life. All three rejected the argument that we could ‘just get married.’ All three emphasized that the government cannot maintain the status quo for much longer – they are on borrowed time. 

Lady Justice Arden accepted our case on almost every point. She stated:
“My overall conclusion: the appellants are right” 

In the end though, Lady Justice Arden’s fellow judges concluded that the government should be allowed just a little more time to make a decision. It is on that technicality that we lost by two votes to one. 

We are deeply disappointed by the ruling and very sorry not to be able to share better news. But there is much in the ruling, together with your incredible support, that gives us reason to be positive and keep going. 

We remain determined to go on. Opening civil partnerships to all is fair, popular, and will be good for families and children. Over three million mixed-sex couples, with two million dependent children, cohabit in the UK. Yet this fastest-growing family type lacks legal and financial security. That isn’t right. None of us should be denied recognition or protection because marriage isn’t right for us. 

So while the campaign for civil partnerships gains more political support, we plan to challenge this ruling in the Supreme Court. But to do so, we need your help. An appeal to the Supreme Court will cost us at least £25,000. We want to go on, but we don’t have the financial resources to do it alone. 

So please, if you can, donate now: 

If each of you gave only £10, we could go forward with much less stress. 

Defeat today is hard to accept. But it has also given us a chance to regroup, rally, and emerge stronger. Together we can make this change possible.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, 

Rebecca and Charles

Monday 20 February 2017

The wait is over – please join us outside court tomorrow morning to hear the judgment

Dear supporters,

We’ve waited a long time for this moment. In less than 24 hours, the judges will hand down their ruling in our appeal against the government’s ongoing ban on mixed-sex civil partnerships.

Please join us outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London at 9.30am on Tuesday for breakfast and a photo call, before coming with us to Court No. 74 for the judgment. Please see our Facebook page for details: 

Whatever the judgment, we need to show that opening civil partnerships to all is not just fair and popular, but also the right thing for so many families and children across the country.

Let’s get the biggest crowd possible outside court on Tuesday to show our strength of feeling. 

Whether you’re there in person or in spirit, we thank you for all your solidarity. Your support over these last few years has brought us all closer than ever to making this change possible. 

Thank you again for your support.

Warm wishes, 

Rebecca and Charles