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Civil partnership - our best decision ever


10 Darren and his partner had their civil partnership at Birmingham Registry Office on the 30th September 2006. "We had been together, at that time, for nearly eight years. We both knew we really wanted to do it to cement our relationship. It's the best decision we've ever made."

15 He and his partner had questions about how they could apply for a civil partnership, how would they organise everything, what sort of ceremony they wanted and details of their reception, the flowers, buttonholes, their suits, rings, the theme of the day and so on. Darren did some research on the internet to establish exactly what needed to be organised. The planning, although very time-consuming, was a case of ensuring they got exactly what they wanted from the day. "The build up to it was quite good, to be honest, it was very good. It took about twelve months, from start to finish, to get it all organised for the day." The total cost for the wedding was around £10,000

20 "The legal proceedings and procedures were exactly the same as a straight marriage." Anyone who had any objections had to submit their objections within that fifteen day period. The one detail they were allowed to personalise was the vows they exchanged during the ceremony. They then exchanged rings and each had to have a witness. They were given a certificate of their partnership after the ceremony. Both partners have very supportive families, who were all in attendance on the big day.

25 The couple were adamant they wanted people to know it was a civil partnership between two homosexual people but didn't want that to influence their decisions on suits, décor and the like. "We wanted people to see it for what it was...but we didn't want to make a farce of it, didn't want it to be outrageously camp."

30 They held the reception at a social club and his mother helped out with the catering. This was a colourful affair with acts on throughout the day to entertain the guests. They had singers, dancers, drag acts from a local bar (Glamourous) and a well known local gay DJ - DJ Rocky.

35 "It made us both realise how much we care about each other, it cemented our feelings for each other. No one will ever destroy what we've got." (16:00)

40 They got married within the first twelve months of civil partnerships being legalised. Darren believes that this legalisation took far too long to come about. "If two people care about each other, they should be able to show that."

Contributed by: Darren Karshe

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