Married couple face months of worry and ‘being in limbo’ as crunch court hearing adjourned

Ben and Brian Page
Brian Finlay

Brian and Ben Page have had their crunch court hearing adjourned. The Pages were due to receive an outcome on their final appeal to decide if Brian, a US citizen, would be able to stay in the UK. He faces deportation despite marrying Brian, a UK citizen, in 2014.

The outcome of this hearing could have seen Brian and Ben separated over Christmas. After 1 March 2019, the final appeal can be heard in court.

The case so far…

The couple spoke to The Canary to share their story in early December. The Pages originally lived in the US but moved to the UK after Ben’s mum became terminally ill. Brian entered the UK on a six-month visa but applied for an extension when his mother-in-law’s health declined.

Even with substantial medical evidence, the application for extending the visa was denied. Many LGBTIQ+ rights campaigners have criticised one judge who dismissed the couple’s marriage as only being a ‘civil partnership’.

The Pages have battled with the legal system since May 2015, resulting in numerous failed hearings. The pair were pleased when a high court judge ruled that a previous judge had made an “error in law”.

“Being in limbo”

The couple felt the outcome was bittersweet. Although they will now spend the festive season together, uncertainty still exists. Speaking to The Canary, Ben said:

We are very conflicted in how we feel about the adjournment. In a way we are happy because we get to spend Christmas together but it is another two months of worry and being in limbo as well as Brian not being able to work.

He went on to say:

We also got the strong impression the judge was telling us to take the two months as we were going to be split up. We think perhaps the judge and Home Office rep were thinking the media attention and support would stop by then and it would be easier to send Brian home.

The Pages have experienced financial difficulty because of expensive legal fees. Turning to crowdfunding, the couple has reached £3693 of their £4,300 target so far.

Featured image via Brian & Ben / GoFundMe, used with permission

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