Oxfordshire author Sheila Kitzinger has branded a High Court judge "outdated" after he rejected her daughter's fight to have her gay marriage legally recognised in Britain. The 77-year-old feminist pioneer and author, from Standlake, near Witney, spoke out after Sir Mark Potter, president of the High Court Family Division, denied university professors Celia Kitzinger, 49, and Sue Wilkinson, 52, full legal married status in the UK.

The couple, who live in North Yorkshire, got married in Vancouver, Canada - where unions between same sex partners are lawful - three years ago. But in Britain, they are only offered the same rights afforded by civil partnerships, introduced last December, which they say is "insulting and discriminatory".

At the hearing in London, Sir Mark stunned the women by saying the creation of children by a mother and father was essential to a true marriage. He added: "To accord a same-sex relationship the title and status of marriage would be to fly in the face of the European Convention on Human Rights."

But Mrs Kitzinger said: "I thought we were years past things like that. My daughter rang me straight after the verdict and was very shaky and sad. However, I told her to keep smiling.

"She and Sue know they have made a brave step forward on an issue that needs addressing, and they will appeal."

Even though they exchanged rings and were declared "wife and wife" in Canada, Ms' Kitzinger and Wilkinson do not have the same rights here. In a further blow, Sir Mark also ordered the couple to pay £25,000 towards the Attorney General's costs.

Mrs Kitzinger, said: "This was the highest amount that he could demand. My daughter and her partner are very shocked and upset.

"However, they have been given so much support and have now set up a website and a fund to continue their fight.

"They realise that they aren't just representing themselves here, but the future rights of many others."