All I want for Christmas is...Gay Marriage!
Publish Date: 19/12/2012
Martin & Daniel
Martin, 30 and Daniel, 33 met online in 2006 and last Christmas Eve got engaged in front of all their friends and family. They are waiting until the law is passed so they can get married.
“We are spending our 6th Christmas together this year. Every year we have a problem deciding where to spend it as our parents are from Blackpool and Darwen, in Lancashire. On Christmas day this year I will be playing piano for diners in Liverpool. Dan will be there, sat at the bar and supporting me as he always has, anticipating that lovely meal to come at my mum’s house!
“On Christmas Eve we will be looking back and saying ‘this time last year we got engaged!’ and we'll have a giggle and a cuddle as we take time out to remember how lucky we are to have each other at this wonderful time of year.
“When we got engaged immediately people started asking us when we were getting married. And that's when it hit me. We weren't getting married. We could have a ceremony to swear our love to each other in front of our friends and family, we could have a lovely meal, a best man, a band, dancing, a nice car... everything could look just the same as a real wedding, but it wouldn't be a wedding!
“Dan and I are as strong today as we have ever been and we have as much right as anybody else to be able to choose the correct way for us to celebrate our love and our relationship with the people we hold closest to us. Currently legally we do not have the same options because we are both men. My brother will soon be a married man, just as my father was a married man, and my grandfathers before him. If Dan and I had a civil partnership under current legislation, I would not be able to say the same about myself. What would I be? 'Partnered'? ‘Civilly Partnered?
“It is constitutionally wrong and against the very moralistic fibre of the foundations of the great nation that we live in to have a law that prevents someone doing something that someone else can do based entirely on their gender.
Kath & Christine
Christine, 25 and Kath, 43 are from Warrington, Cheshire and made history as part of the first group civil partnership during Manchester Pride in 2007. They have two children but said they would love the chance to get married if the law changes.
“This year it will be just us spending Christmas at home with our 2 children, Kacey who is 5 and Teagan who is 18 months old. My son was a little worried that Santa would go to his granny’s house in Ireland where we spent last Christmas, so we took him to see Santa at our local shopping centre last week to let him know we’d be at home this year.”
“It’s an awkward thing to say ‘civil partnered’, I just automatically say I’m married. We’re trying to teach our children tolerance and not to discriminate against anybody at a time where there is discrimination against people wanting to marry each other because they love each other.
“It was very important for us to be married before our first baby was born because we wanted the family to feel complete.”
Rob & Richard
Rob, and Richard, both 37 have known each other for over 15 years, meeting at just 21 years old, describing it as ‘love at first sight’. When the Government released their plans for same-sex marriage, they announced their engagement!
“We are spending Christmas with both of our families. Richard is a fantastic cook, and will be cooking the Christmas meal for 9 members of our family. The afternoon will be spent walking our dog Ruby, and then all the family sitting down together to watch a film. At the end of day Richard and I will cuddle up on the sofa – with both of us trying to avoid the washing up!
“We have lived in Manchester for eight years, and play an active part in our local community. The best part of our relationship is being there for each other. Indeed, the only thing we argue about is football. I'm a Man City fan and Richard supports Liverpool.
“Full Marriage is really important to us. For Richard and I, it is about being able to tell the world that we love each other, and to enjoy the right of marriage that our friends and family can. It feels like the natural next step in our strong, long term relationship.
“Civil Partnership is fantastic, and has been brilliant for the thousands of lesbian and gay couples who have had a Civil partnership. For us, we want it to go further; we want the right to full marriage like anyone else. Like our parents, we too want to be able to say that we 'are married.'
David & Darren
Darren, 48, from Sheffield and David, 42, from Salford have been together for 18 years. They had a civil partnership 2 an a half years ago but hope to make this into a full marriage to be seen as equal in the law.
“This Christmas we will be spending it with our extended family, brothers, sisters, parents (where we have them), nieces and nephews and even (great nephews and nieces
“Both of our families have been supportive of our relationship but it would be fair to say that we have had some negativity over the years, Darren in particular was subject to a lot of homophobia as a child and young man.
“We had a very muted civil partnership event 2 and a half years ago, we had no fanfare and only invited close family. It was not like a wedding and there was no religious element (neither of us are religious in any way). We both feel that we would have dealt with it differently if it was a full marriage and the nature of the ceremony certainly made it feel a bit '2nd class'.
“Full marriage is important to us. It’s simple, we both believe in equality and our right to have the same choices as anyone else. We wouldn’t necessarily have a big 'do' but we feel that it is extremely important for us to be seen as equal in the law.”
Sian & Sara
Sian, 33, and Sara, 31 have been together for around 2 and a half years. They had a civil partnership in May 2012. They recently came back from their 2 week honeymoon visiting Seattle, San Francisco and Yosemite National Park.
“Unfortunately, we’re not going to be spending Christmas together this year. Our first year as wife and wife will be spent with our respective families because we just couldn’t work it out so we could all be together. At the end of the day this is the first of a lifetime of Christmas’s that we will be able to spend together. We’ve set a date for our own ‘Christmas day’ and are getting in the spirit by getting our Christmas decs up. Flashing lights and tinsel for everyone!
“I proposed, although I had always promised myself I wouldn’t have a Civil Partnership – I wanted to get married like my sisters. However, when I met Sara I realised we were perfect for each other, and I wanted to propose. I found someone I wanted to commit to, and there didn’t seem a lot of point not doing it out of principle.
Both of us wanted a family, and we both felt that it was really important that we start one in a formal relationship, so having a civil partnership or, ideally a marriage, was key for us.
“I never thought I would be able to get married. My sister got married when I was 12 and I did not think I would ever be able to do that. I had never done the whole ‘dream wedding’ thing as a young girl, but I saw they way in which marriage was an important institution and construct for relationships to be recognised and celebrated in, and understood that no relationship that I was ever going to be in was going to be treated in the same way. When we got civil partnerships, I felt the same way.
“I did not understand why both of my sisters could get married – as many times as they wanted to, in fact - but that I couldn’t get married once. Marriage conveys a status and gravitas that, as an individual and as part of a couple, I value. In addition, why should my parents be forced to out me as a lesbian every time she talks about her daughters? In reality, she says all three of her daughters are married, but legally that isn’t strictly true.”
All these couples are supporting The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s Love Equal Marriage campaign which is encouraging people to fight for equality and support same-sex marriage. Take action now! Visit www.lgf.org.uk/equal