Change the Regulations for civil partnership conversion to marriage, so civil partners wanting to convert can have a wedding & a marriage certificate
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Sheila and I have been together for 22 years and civil partnered for 8 years. She is 58 and I am 60. All our lives we have striven for equality, for us marriage was the final legal hurdle and now we have it. So it has been a bitter disappointment to find out the restrictions that are being applied to people that want to convert their civil partnership to a marriage.
Civil partners who convert to marriage cannot have a ceremony as part of their conversion process. We must attend a Register Office (there is only one in most counties) and will not even be issued with a marriage certificate. We will be given a 'conversion certificate' instead, which may not be recognised by other countries.
We are not allowed all the things that make a marriage special; being surrounded by friends and family, choosing a venue of meaning, having a ceremony, and being issued with a marriage certificate. The rules don't allow for any of it. It is a desk based exercise, with just us and the Registrar.
There is no heart in this legislation.
At our civil partnership we were not able to say the marriage vows, nor did an official declare that we were 'wife and wife'. It was clear that most people thought of us as 'married', but we still hoped that one day marriage for same sex couples would become a reality. Now it has, but we feel robbed of the chance to publicly embrace our equality and are still being treated differently.
Sure we will be legally married, but the restrictions on the process exclude all emotion, and forbid celebration at that precious moment of marriage and equality. We were so distraught we even looked into dissolving our civil partnership - however wanting to get married is not grounds.
That's why I have started this petition calling on Nick Boles the MP responsible for same sex marriage implementation to look again at the rules for couples wishing to convert their civil partnership.
I believe couples in civil partnerships should have the same rights as any other couple -- to have their marriage surrounded by loved ones, at a venue they choose and to be presented with a marriage certificate afterwards.
I do not want to be singled out for special treatment, I want to be the same as every adult in this country.
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Jakki Livesey-van Dorst needs your help with “Paul Pugh: Change the Regulations for civil partnership conversion to marriage, so civil partners wanting to convert can have a wedding & a marriage certificate”. Join Jakki and 41,747 supporters today.