Seven years ago on Monday, John and I entered a civil partnership. You can read about the day HERE if you’d like to. It really was a perfect day.
Today we converted our civil partnership into a marriage. In effect it is backdated to 15 June 2008, so we’ve now been married for less than a day, but also for seven years. If you see what I mean.
We had thought about having a bit of a bash, but when we considered it further, we realised that it would seem a bit self-indulgent to do it all over again, especially when we have considered ourselves married all along. So today was all about the legalities and paperwork.
Off we toddled to Norwich Register Office for 2pm. We were asked to wait in a very soulless reception area, replete with photocopier. We then had to spend 45 minutes filling in forms and proving we were who we said we were. And then the registrar suddenly said “Oh, you’re now married.” She then took us back to the reception area to photocopy the marriage certificate and then we were done.
I know it seems weird to have done it like this, with no great fanfare or ceremony, or even witnesses (who, had we invited them, would have had to wait outside, we were told!), but we just felt that it would have rather undermined what we considered to be our real wedding back in June 2008.
We’re having a few friends to dinner at our favourite pub in Blickling, near Aylsham, tomorrow night, and that’s about it.
I did, however, persuade the notoriously photoshy John to have a couple taken today in our garden for posterity.
Finally, when we were sitting in the register office going through the paperwork I had a moment when I thought of Lynne Featherstone. Lynne was the LibDem Home Office minister who, with the backing of Theresa May and David Cameron brought in the Equal Marriage Act. She lost her seat at the election, but she will always be able to look back and think that this was a real political achievement. Just as Roy Jenkins will be remembered for decriminalising homosexuality, she will forever be associated with equal marriage. I can think of worse political legacies. Most ministers go through their careers achieving very little. She set out to do something and had the political courage and nouse to see it through.