Stacy and I have been in a civil partnership since 2008. Civil partnerships were brought in by our government after pressure for equality. They were only open to same sex couples and it wasn’t marriage.
I get asked a lot, why do you want to get married? We already think of you as married!
Here are some key differences between civil partnership, and marriage:
- Civil partners do not have the same pension rights as married couples. If one civil partner dies, the pension share that the surviving partner receives is often lower and lasts for less time than with married couples.
- The language of marriage carries a social weight that civil partnership does not. This is a reason why civil partners often refer to their partnerships as ‘marriages’, rather than ‘partnerships’. (We have referred to ourselves as married the whole time – hence peoples confusion that civil partnerships aren’t the same as marriage)
- Travel restrictions apply to civil partners but not married couples.
- Separate marriage and civil partnership regulations mean gender and orientation are the deciding factors in what relationships are legally recognised.
- Civilly partnered people are forced to state their sexuality, ticking a separate box that says ‘civil partnership’ rather than ‘marriage’.
- Unlike marriages, consummation is not a legal requirement of civil partnerships. Neither is adultery recognised as grounds for dissolution.
- There is also no requirement for civil partners to take any vows.
But really, we just want to be married, to be equal.
Our original wedding day was a big affair paid for by our families as well as ourselves. We were pretty poor at the time, but it was a lovely day, and will always be our wedding day. But we did really want to acknowledge the new wedding day too, and we have booked a ceremony in the Norwich Castle, followed by a reception in a beautiful hall in the countryside, with disco and party afterwards.
There is a lot to work out, such as what do we wear?? White dresses again??
One interesting thing that will happen once we have converted to marriage, is that they will backdate our marriage date to our original civil partnership date. This means that we shall be married right now, in the future 🙂
We have chosen to do this on the date of our original wedding day too, so we keep our anniversary, and it will also be our 10th and 1st anniversary on the same year.