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London Weekend Blogging: The Wedding

In which we celebrate


I had no idea what to expect at the wedding. I’ve, unsurprisingly, never been to a Civil Partnership Ceremony before; but equally, I’ve never been to any sort of civil wedding before.

The wedding started late, and the registrar seemed a little stressed. “Sorry for the delay,” she said, “but the couple at the previous wedding weren’t sure it was going ahead.” You could sense a long, long backstory behind that sentence.

The ceremony was short. W and P strode up the aisle together, and the registrar explained what they were getting into. They faced each other, and looked into each other’s eyes as they gave their declarations and vows. My eyes were slightly damp, and they received a long, long round of applause, which seemed to surprise the registrar. “You are a popular couple,” she said. And, bar the posing for photos, it was already over. W and P are Registered Partners. We all rolled out into the garden for champagne.

W and P posing with W's parents W and P outside the register office

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Family Values

In which we are irked by a political myth


Heard on the radio this morning: a member of the Lords claiming that gay marriage Civil Partnerships are a bad thing because they’re unpatriotic.* This country was built, apparently, on the values of two parents, their children, and the sacrament of marriage.**

As I’ve said before, my mother is becoming part of the Genealogy Boom, one of the thousands of people who are using the internet to research the names of their ancestors. And, one of the good things about this is that the thousands of people doing this are finding out that the typical Family Values chorus – in the past, everyone lived in a happy, stable two-parent family and the world was a Better Place – really is a load of rubbish. In the past, people didn’t divorce. That’s because they couldn’t afford to. They still had affairs, though, and multiple relationships, and children out of wedlock. Every family has tangled knots in its family tree, because the people in the past really did behave just as badly, or well, as people do today. Family Values is a political myth, and nothing more.

* I tried to look up which specific homophobic peer I was listening to, but her name isn’t listed on the Today website running order, and I don’t want to have to listen to it all again just to catch her name.

** although she claimed that even though she was describing marriage as a sacrament she didn’t mean it in a religious way.

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