Wednesday, 18 January 2012

So can you two get married then?

One of the many questions we have been asked since announcing our engagement. The answer? Well when my younger brother asked I just said yes, silly, of course we can. The truth is it isn't quite that simple. At present, in the UK, two women (or indeed two men) can enter into a Civil Partnership. This entitles the partners to the same advantages a marriage brings; we will legally be each other's next of kin, if we have a baby we can both legally be named on the birth certificate, when the unthinkable happens we hold the same rights in terms of estate and pension and finances. So far so good! BUT we do not have the right to call this a wedding, or a marriage. We cannot call each other wife, nor refer to each other as a bride on our wedding day. When marking our marital status on all the millions of forms life requires you to fill in, we will be required to mark the 'civil partnership' box, not the 'married' box. Furthermore, if S or I were religious, we are prohibited to hold our union in a religious building, nor use any religious wording in our ceremony.

Now don't get me wrong, we are grateful the fact that we finally have some recognition for this beautiful and life-long relationship, and that this country now recognises this. But shouldn't all couples be using the same phrase, gay or straight?

As of now, Jan 2012, the coalition government is "committed to bringing in gay marriage by 2015", but unfortunately it is being met with quite a bit of resistance from Tory backbenchers, who believe it will ruin the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and dissolve the traditional family values we hold in the UK. The pictures below, borrowed from Google mainly, sum up how we feel about this!

One step forward though, same - sex couples now hold the right to have a blessing on their union in a religious building, as under the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based purely on their sexual orientation. The Church of England are digging their heels in somewhat on this, and despite Coronation Street showing Sophie and Sian walking down the aisle in a church, many ministers are still refusing, saying it goes against everything they believe as Christian people.

 I just hope and wish for a society that values love and commitment as a basis of family life, and that by the time our children are old enough to marry, they are supported to marry whoever this wish, regardless of gender, and bring their children up free from discrimination. Maybe I am asking too much - but in truth it is rather simple. I have quite a few 'straight' friends that I am very close to; despite them all being older than me not one of them has managed a relationship longer than Sarah and I have, not one of them have gotten married before having a baby, not one of them have stuck together when things have gotten quite tough, and not one of them speaks of their love the way I do. Sarah is my everything, my absolute world. I love her with everything I am, and am excited to spend every single day of the rest of my life with her. We will make good parents because our basis for parenting will be the basis of our relationship - absolute adoration and happiness in each other's company. So really, tell me, do my straight friends have the right to call their partnerships a marriage any more than we do? I don't think so!

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  1. Couldn't agree more. I wrote some very similar sentiments on my blog over the summer. X

  2. Love this!! Lots of information I didn't know about our rights in this country. Lets hope for marriage in the UK soon!! xo

    Laura & Sarah xo

  3. Thank you ladies. Laura and Sarah, we didn't realise there were such differences between civil partnership and marriage either until just after we got engaged, and neither do a lot of people we tell-even straight colleagues have been shocked we can't say wife etc. Hopefully the more people that realise this there might be more pressure for it to change! Xx

  4. Great post! Love the end point. I hope it comes in before 2015 too.. but lets hope it comes in at all I guess! Where do you plan to get married? I'll still call Whitney my bride & wife ;)

    M x

  5. Thank you Megan :) our wedding is booked for July next year in Solihull (little town not far from where we live in Birmingham). And yeah it's only in the ceremony that we can't use wedding/marriage/wife/bride but we'll use all four words at every other opportunity :) S xx

  6. Hopefully things will change....but to me a civil partnership is just as good as marriage...we have all the same legal rights.... The rest is mere words.... And we can call each other what we want really..... I still call Lala my wife.. K xx

    1. We totally agree-when we got together in 2004 we couldn't have had a civil partnership so we are so, so grateful that we now can.
      We do however think it's wrong that there are things gay people can't say in their ceremony that straight people can- it should be equal, hopefully it soon will be :) xx


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