Equal Marriage? What Equal Marriage?

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.

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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?

Nope.

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

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11 Responses to Equal Marriage? What Equal Marriage?

  1. Ellie says:

    So, who do we make noise about this to? I WANT TO SEE THOSE SINGING WAITERS (or at the very least, cake)…

  2. chickletsmums says:

    Wow, I hadn’t realised that you do not get a marriage certificate if in a civil partnership! I assume you do if going straight into a (same-sex) marriage? We also got a civil partnership in 2010, we didn’t want to at the time and we had no money nor any supportive family but we had to for my wife to be able to stay in the country. We did it for the paper but always intended on having a ‘proper’ wedding when everything would be equal. CP’s are just second class and should never have existed.

  3. Penny Lane says:

    I saw this on the BBC a while ago. The loophole being you have to dissolve your civil partnership in order to marry but then you need to be separated for a year is that right? The UK is so archaic – you want to come to NZ !

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m not clear on your annoyance, – Because the conversion and signing is a legal recognition of marriage, it’s just your already partnered and so already legally bound to one another, legally there is no requirement to have a registered person and witnesses sign your marriage and intent to marry for the second time albeit under a different heading . The ‘wedding’ ceremony is an evolved event following the legal necessity for registered people to witness and sign off a binding of a couple in a relationship, again the legal people have already withessed you doing this, thus, legally there is no reason for them to do it again. I fully support gay marriage, I’m civil partnered myself, but it is not discriminatory it’s a legal process. This doesn’t stop you having a renewal or formal ceremony.

    • No. It IS discriminatory, the certificate what we would be given is a “conversion certificate” and not a marriage certificate.
      Marriage in this country is formed by the exchange of vows. By just signing a bit of paper this doesn’t constitute the same marriage that everyone else has.
      I’m annoyed because once again we are not equal. There is no ceremony offered and it DOES discriminate, I want a wedding. A marriage. To be wife and wife. Not “civil partners”. And I want a marriage certificate not a “conversion certificate”

      • Lisa says:

        It’s a conversion to marriage certificate. That’s what it recognises. The fanfare the fuss is just a party that’s evolved from vows and signatures, into discussions about singing waiters by millions of couples around the world (which I completely like the idea of). On the flip side, consider if it’s counter discriminatory to heterosexual couples who can’t have had a civil partnership who went straight to marriage and now gay couples have a legally recognised civil partnership and marriage- the simply fact is the powers that be have already licensed your partnership, they’ve seen your partnership witnessed and there is no legal reason for them to see it all again. They’re not saying gay people don’t have the right to exchange vows and have a ceremony because marriage is now allowed, but you’ve already had witnesses ceremony administratively they don’t need you to do it again and that isn’t against your human rights. I’m all for equality but when there are people being killed in other countries for being gay I believe we are some of the luckiest people on the world, able to live a mainly unchallenged life, be recognised in our relationships and be married with or without a second ceremony. I appreciate your fight and sprit I’m not knocking it

      • I understand your points and agree that we are lucky to have what we have, however I don’t believe we will be equal until my certificate is the same as everyone else’s.

  5. Kye says:

    Reblogged this on Hey, I'm kye!.

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