The law, introduced in February 2005, obliged people born outside the European Union and who only had a six-months to one year visa to seek special permission from the Home Ministry to marry even if their partner was a British or an EU national.
The plight of the many people caught up in this intricate legal tangle had complained of pain, misery, suffering, and humiliation. The move by the High Court came as a relief to many. Rights campaigners had opposed it saying that it did not make a distinction between genuine and sham marriages and sought to tar all non-EU nationals who applied for marriage as potential fraudsters.
The law was challenged when one immigrant was refused permission to marry a woman from within the "European Economic Area" (EEA) who had been living legally in Britain. The court ruled that it was incompatible with human rights law as it did not apply to those who wanted to marry within the Church of England. This amounted to discriminating against people of other faiths, including Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. It was not persuaded by the argument put forward by the Home Office that the exemption for the Church of England was valid because there was no evidence of any sham marriage rackets involving Anglican ceremonies.
This act was a knee-jerk reaction based on speculation rather than evidence. ...Show more