David & Richard co-fronted Equal Love campaign & European Court bid
London, UK – 18 August 2016
Wedding date and time: Saturday 20 August 2016 at 3.30pm
Venue: Shrewsbury House, Bushmoor Cresent, Shooters Hill, London SE183EG
Same-sex marriage pioneers, David E Watters and Richard J Hull, will marry this Saturday in Shooters Hill, south east London.
They were the second gay couple to challenge the UK ban on same-sex couples marrying, when they filed for a marriage license in December 2010, as part of the then newly-formed Equal Love campaign. It sought to overturn the illegality of same-sex marriage.
Their application at Greenwich register office was, as anticipated, refused. This prompted them to join three other same-sex couples – under the banner of the Equal Love campaign, coordinated by human rights veteran Peter Tatchell – to take their claim for the right to marry to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
This ECtHR application in February 2011 was one of the factors that put the UK government under pressure to consider, and then finally agree, to legislate same-sex marriage in 2013.
David Watters (45) is a teacher and Richard Hull (54) is a retail manager. They live in south London.
David Watters said:
“We are both thrilled to have played a part in successfully challenging the UK marriage laws and to have helped make it possible for other same-sex couples to realise their romantic aspirations. Our goal was never selfishly motivated. We always wanted, through our involvement with the Equal Love campaign, to be a voice for others.
It has been hugely rewarding to see other gay couples take up the opportunity to marry or to ‘upgrade’ their previous civil partnerships.”
Richard Hull added:
“After 12 years together, we have only now decided to marry. It was important for us to do this in our own way and in our own time. The ceremony, with family and friends in attendance, will be intimate and will reflect our differences and our similarities. At this point, straight couples are still barred from accessing civil partnerships. We fully support the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign and endorse the lobbying by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, and the legal bid by Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, to overturn the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships.”
Peter Tatchell, who coordinated the Equal Love campaign from 2010 to 2013, noted:
“I am delighted that David and Richard are getting married and offer them my congratulations. Together with three other gay couples, they played a very important role in helping secure same-sex marriage and in winning public hearts and minds. I am so proud of them. They were great ambassadors for marriage equality. I wish them every happiness.”
David Watters concluded:
“We hope our battle for the right to marry has helped those LGBT people who struggle to accept their sexuality or who live in cultures where they may face severe discrimination. We are thankful to have played a part in changing the law and in challenging perceptions.
“The Equal Love campaign taught me a great deal and has inspired me to continue striving for social change. Since helping achieve the right to marry, I have gone on to establish the internationally acclaimed and award winning diversity campaign, Give ’em Hope, which won a National Diversity Award and was shortlisted for two European Diversity Awards. It is my belief that society can limit us by attaching labels that narrowly define us. I am determined to continue speaking up for the marginalised and disenfranchised.”