Posted by: stelladuffy | August 11, 2014

Still not married?

When #EqualMarriage was passed into law we waited. And waited. A while ago, it was announced the date was to be Dec 10th. Yay. Finally.
Shelley called Lambeth Town Hall, they said to come in for an appointment, bringing CP certificate and proof of identity – and that we’d prob have to pay £70. We thought this was a bit odd, but figured they just hadn’t quite worked it out yet, and that the news that we DON’T have to pay (for the first year, if you’ve already CP’d, if you’re just transferring a CP into marriage) hadn’t filtered down to them.
This morning we went in, waited a bit longer than we’d expected, and then the nice man took us through to a room where he looked at us quizzically. He asked why we were there. I said “Because we want our Civil Partnership to become a marriage on 10th December”. He looked relieved at this point, as he’d figured we were there hoping to get married and he’d have to let us down. He explained the reason we’d been waiting longer than expected was they STILL have no official notification from government on how this is going to work. He’d taken a while checking with his boss who checked with others. No-one knows yet. He was very kind and very polite as he suggested we come back another time. “Closer to December 10th”.
So. Even where it seems it is ‘fixed’, even where it seems we get equality, even on the most basic level of boring paperwork, no, it’s not fixed, it’s not equal, and ‘they’ (the government) still haven’t told ‘them’ (the registrars) how this is going to work.
Marriage is one of the most basic of human interactions, and we are still waiting for this very ancient concept of marriage (dating back long before monotheism got involved and started telling us how to do it), the union of two people, to be available to us as a couple.
This is yet another point on the vast list of It’s Not Fixed Yet.
And yes, me and my wife marrying, after almost 25 years together, is not a big deal compared to ‘corrective’ rapes and (dis)honour killings and forced marriage and gay-bashing and bullying and all the abuses and humiliations, huge and small, that so many LGBT people suffer daily, everywhere. But it is part of the same continuum and it’s all joined up and therefore NONE OF IT is fixed yet and I am fucking furious that this government gets the kudos of having passed equal marriage into law and STILL makes it difficult (or indeed, technically impossible until registrars know what the paperwork will be) for us to marry just like all the straight couples who have the option to marry – or not – as they will.

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Responses

  1. Do we still have to be DISSOLVED before we can convert (I always think of Jonny Wilkinson converting a try by booting the ball straight over the posts! Ah, the romance…) CP into Marriage?? This is what has put Janie and I off as I don’t want to be dissolved. Anything could happen in that hiatus between one and t’other and quite frankly I don’t want to be recorded as being briefly dissolved, divorced or any other di- that I am forced to undergo. Your experience highlights totally the flimsy hypocricy of Dave’s flagrant attempt to garner the powerful LGBT lobby – all fur coat and no flaming knickers. Disgraceful political shenanigans.

  2. I don’t think we have to be ‘dissolved’, I think we have to be ‘converted’ – CP to marriage. Pretty sure there’s no dissolution needed, but given the lovely registrar admitted to having no clear idea, it’s all still guesswork sadly …

  3. I can’t say I was particularly chuffed to find out that we will not have a marriage certificate but a “certificate of conversion”. Once more the tortured prose of the Civil Service rears it’s ugly head!

  4. oh no, really? I didn’t know that either. ffs, it’s really not equality at all, is it?

  5. I keep wondering when they’re going to work this out. My wife and I are hoping to “convert” our CP along with a group of other friends. Not in a creepy moonie wedding sense, just that we consider ourselves married already, but it seemed nice to mark the change in law with an upgrade party. :)

    It’s just so baffling and no one seems to know anything! I hope they get it sorted out too. I want my marriage certificate, not something that sounds like I’ve been turned into a cyberman.

  6. We started a petition on change.org, Government subsequently withdrew ghastly regulations. A delegation (only 4 of us) are meeting Nick Boles MP the minister responsible. Our ‘mission’ to try to ensure they get it right this time! Please wish us luck and sign (and share) the petition. Sophie Ward will be part of the delegation.

  7. I’ve signed it and shared it. and will do again.

  8. Brilliant-it is taking off. The brilliant Sophie Ward is meeting the Minister with us next Weds. Thanks for your support!

  9. Shared the petition too.

  10. thank you.


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