are first in Burnham to hold same-sex marriage ceremony
couple Beverley and Sarah Milner Simonds made history on Friday
(12th December) when they converted their Civil Partnership to
a Marriage at Burnham's Registry Office.
County Superintendent Registrar, Michaela Bellwood, conducted
the simple conversion - the first of its kind in Burnham.
means the pair are now married and the date of their marriage
was officially recorded as 8th July 2006, the date of their Civil
has a visiting Registrar two days a week, but it isn't licensed
was thought until mid-October that conversions must take in the
County Register Office. For Somerset this is the Taunton Office
but at the last minute the legislation was changed and Registry
Offices which are not licensed for Marriages are now permitted
to carry out Conversions.
was the first marriage ceremony to be conducted in Burnham's Registry
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have campaigned for many years
for equal marriage and we are very pleased to complete the final
stage today ourselves, in our home town."
been almost nine months since the first same-sex couples were
able to marry legally and its only right that couples in civil
partnerships can now have their commitments recognised."
added: "Our wedding was eight wonderful years ago but until
today our commitment was not recognised as equal before the law.
Now our marriage certificate is recognised around the world and
affords us equality in pensions and inheritance rights and recognition
as next of kin."
spokesperson for Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity,
added: "Marriage and the possibility of converting a civil
partnership is another step towards full equality for lesbian,
gay, bisexual and trans people in Britain. Whilst there is still
so much to be done to achieve full equality both here and abroad,
these ceremonies will be a wonderful early Christmas present for
many couples, their friends, and families."
number of famous faces having being tying the knot this week in
same-sex marriages across the UK. Among them was Mary Portas,
the business entrepreneur and TV personality, who became one of
the first to convert her civil partnership into a same-sex marriage.