Britain's first gay surrogate parents are planning to fight the Church of England's same-sex marriage ban in court.

Millionaires Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow became the first gay couple to be named as parents on a British birth certificate when they adopted a baby in 1999.

Now the pair, who entered a civil partnership in 2006, are planning to take another pivotal step forward for gay rights in the UK, after running out of options in their attempts to get married in church.

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said: "I want to go into my church and marry my husband.

"The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the Church."

Although the government lifted the ban on same-sex marriages in July, David Cameron promised Britain's religious institutions they will not be forced to conduct gay weddings.

Both the Catholic Church and the Church of England have said they are unwilling to "opt in" to same-sex marriage provision.

Drewitt-Barlow, who owns a surrogacy business in Essex and has raised five children through surrogacy with his partner, said it was a shame they had to take Christians to court, but it was the only option.

"We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognise us as practising Christians.

"I am a Christian - a practising Christian. My children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local parish church.

"If I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara. Liberal Jews can marry in the Synagogue - just not the Christians.

"It upsets me because I want it so much - a big lavish ceremony, the whole works."

It is thought that the first same-sex marriages in the UK will be conducted by summer 2014.

Drewitt-Barlow
Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow with two members of their family (WikiCommons)