Like most same sex couples in the UK, Amy and I have been waiting around for Equal marriage for some time. Today I was disappointed to hear the news that “equal” marriage in the UK will not be equal at all if you’re already in a civil partnership.
Amy and I had our civil partnership in 2010. It was a lovely day in October and we had a great time seeing family and friends and declaring our love legally for one another. We always said, though, that we would have a small civil partnership and a big wedding.
In the last couple of years we have looked into venues and planned what our big day would be like. Who would be there? What would we wear? What would we eat? Would we have those awesome undercover singing waiters or would that be an unnecessary expense? All the excitement of a couple hoping and planning for that fairytale wedding.
Imagine how heartbroken we were when we discovered today that in order to convert a civil partnership to a marriage, you must attend the registry office and… Sign a piece of paper. There is no legal ceremony at all and no option for one. Then, once you’ve signed your piece of paper, you get a “certificate of conversion”. Wait, now hold on? I thought we were aiming for equal marriage here? So do we get a marriage certificate?
No marriage certificate and no ceremony. Any ceremony that you choose to have is not a legal ceremony.
For someone who was planning a big wedding, imagine how we feel at the idea of paying for a big wedding that isn’t even a wedding. Nothing legal about it. No recognition. Not even a marriage certificate. Just a “certificate of conversion”. Utter rubbish. Insulting and demoralising.
I know there are lots of couples out there who do not want to convert their civil partnership into a marriage, or want to convert but without ceremony. The no ceremony thing is great for those couples. For us, though, who wanted our love to be recognised in front of friends and family as equal to the love of any couple regardless of their sexuality, this is ridiculous. And the “certificate of conversion” is rubbish for everyone. Nobody wants a certificate of bloody conversion! We want a marriage certificate! This is what everyone was fighting for!
It seems like gay couples will never be truly equal in the UK. I don’t even know why the government bothered with civil partnerships in the first place, when nearly every other country that has equal marriage, just jumped straight in and allowed same sex couples to marry. Not civil partnership, marriage.
I know there are some people fighting this out there and I really hope that this is changed. I know we won’t be having our dream wedding until it actually is a legal marriage. Because with marriages these days costing around fifteen thousand pounds, I’m not paying that for a pantomime.
UPDATE – another couple have started a petition to change this. Please head over and sign if you believe in equality for EVERYONE regardless of orientation or (bollocksy) civil partnership status —- CLICK ME