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Couple claim UK judge refused to recognise their legal marriage

Brian and Benjamin Page moved back to the UK after Benjamin's mother became terminally ill

2018-09-17

A couple claim a UK judge refused to recognise their legal marriage and are not able to live together in either of their home countries.

Brian Page, a US citizen, and Briton Benjamin Page married in America and moved to the UK in 2014 to spend time with Benjamin’s mother when she became terminally ill.

Around 12 months before his mother passed away, Brian applied for an extension to his six-month visa on compassionate grounds but it was refused, the i reported.

Now, Benjamin’s father is battling lung cancer and Brian refuses to leave his husband who fell into a depression after his mother’s death.

He said: “Benjamin fell into a deep, dark depression after his mother’s death as they were very close.

“I was really worried he may do something silly. Benjamin suffered acute viral pneumonia and stopped breathing.

“He nearly died and the doctor told us it was caused by stress. Now his father is ill and depressed from losing his wife and he needs Benjamin.

“And Benjamin needs me, I’m afraid to leave him.”

Brian said the appeal judge had referred to them as “civil parents” despite being married and says the passed three years they have spent £16,000 of their savings fighting the case.

“We feel disrespected by this. Our marriage is legally recognised, and the LGBTQ community has had to fight for these rights,” he added.

“In the fight for marriage equality, much emphasis was put on security and government benefits, favourable treatment in tax, inheritance, and insurance status; immigration rights; rights in adoption and custody; decisional and visitation rights in health care.

“Gay couples also wanted the legitimacy, social standing, dignity, and the recognition of legal marriage.

“We feel that the judge has been very disrespectful in disregarding our relationship and openly writing in her determination letter with a homophobic tone.”

Brian continued that the Home Office have kept hold of his passport while the visa application process continues meaning he cannot work or leave the country.

Benjamin also has a 10-year automatic ban in the States for overstaying and Brian said the UK judge told them that as they cannot live in either country, they could move to Canada.