Sue Wilkinson, left, and Celia Kitzinger outside central London's High Court, before the hearing to recognize their marriage. ((Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press))

A British lesbian couple took their fight for same-sex marriage to court in London on Tuesday, hoping to get their marriage vows in Canada recognized at home.

Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson were married in Vancouver three years ago. But their marriage has not yet been recognized in Britain.

Lawyers for the two women will argue before Britain's High Court that the country's failure to recognize their marriage violates their human rights.

"Our experience of marriage is that it's a lot more than just a word," Kitzinger told the Associated Press.

'Why this opposition?'

"We're not going to gain any more protections or rights, as far as we know. Since that's the case, why this fierce opposition?"

Kitzinger, 52, and Sue Wilkinson, 49, are both university professors.

Last year, the United Kingdom began allowing civil partnerships. The new legislation does not use the word marriage but does give same-sex couples the same tax and pension rights as married couples.

The law requires couples wishing to form a partnership to register with their local municipal councils. Only gay and lesbian couples are allowed to register for the partnership option.

Gay marriages are legal only in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. In the U.S., Massachusetts alone allows gay marriage, while Vermont and Connecticut permit same-sex civil unions.