Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Autumn 2003

London: The 500th – and it’s Pink

by George Broadhead

The London Partnerships Register has notched up its 500th signing – and the happy couple were gay humanists.

A secular affirmation ceremony was held in London’s Living Room at the Greater London Authority’s City Hall before the signing, and the city’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, said, “I’m delighted the London Partnerships Register has reached this milestone of five hundred registrations. Gay and lesbian couples are showing that they want the opportunity to have their relationships recognised.”

Nick Theobald and Mark Millidge, who have been together for five years and live in Hammersmith, made their vows of love and commitment at the July ceremony, which was conducted by Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) celebrant Denis Cobell and attended by many guests.

A special feature of the ceremony was singing from a chorus drawn from friends and family, and the songs included An die Freude from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. There were also readings from the gay American poet Walt Whitman.

After drinks and photographs on the terrace overlooking the Thames, the happy couple and their guests were transported by a double-decker bus hired for the occasion to a City restaurant in Fenchurch Street for a reception.

The GLA provides only the registration and it is up to the couple to arrange a ceremony, if they want one, at either City Hall or another venue. The Pink Triangle Trust is listed in the GLA’s Partnerships Register handout as a secular ceremony provider. It has arranged many such ceremonies at Romney House and (later) City Hall since the scheme was inaugurated in September 2001, including one for GALHA’s chair, Derek Lennard, and his partner, Malcolm Barnes.

But the PTT service goes far beyond the Greater London area and, since its inception sixteen years ago, ceremonies have been conducted all over the country, from Aberdeen and Glasgow in the north to Brighton and Truro in the south.

As the PTT ads in Diva and Gay Times proclaim, the service is truly nationwide.

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Created : Sunday, 2003-11-23 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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