Derby

Civil partnerships: 'We wanted to find a different way'

Cathy Brown and John Grisswell Image copyright Tom Grisswell
Image caption Cathy Brown and John Grisswell said there were financial and legal reasons for having a civil partnership

A mixed-sex couple who campaigned for the right to have a civil partnership have gone through the ceremony on the first day it became possible.

People across England and Wales have been registering civil partnerships following a Supreme Court ruling.

Previously, the law only allowed same-sex couples to be civil partners.

Cathy Brown and John Grisswell, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, wanted an alternative to the vows and promises of marriage.

'A different way'

The couple, who have two children, had been married to other people before.

"We both felt strongly that repeating those vows and promises, knowing they hadn't worked the first time, wasn't the route we wanted to go down, and we wanted to find a different way," said Ms Brown.

"There's a financial imperative for us to do something which links us together legally.

"That's a situation that until now we've only been able to resolve by getting married.

"It did actually make me quite angry to realise civil partnership wasn't actually an option open to us whereas if we'd been a same-sex couple, we would have a choice."

Mr Grisswell said: "We've been together for 10 years now and things aren't going to change much."

Image copyright Mary Ann Lund
Image caption Dr Gareth Wood and Dr Mary Ann Lund have been together for 21 years and felt marriage was not for them

Mary Ann Lund and Gareth Wood, from Market Harborough, Leicestershire, also went through a civil partnership ceremony on Tuesday.

"It's more about the equality of a partnership rather than a marriage," Dr Lund said.

"That's something important to us, that we feel there is a kind of historical, patriarchal baggage in marriage and it's not particularly something that's for us."

Dr Wood added: "It's lovely to be able to register the fact we are a couple.

"We have committed to one another over a long period of time by bringing up children together, by being faithful to one another, by supporting and loving each other.

"So we've demonstrated commitment to one another in all sorts of different ways which don't have to do with making public declarations."

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