Thursday, October 31, 2013
I never liked the word “husband” before. I knew plenty of guys who called their partner their husband, but I really never did and for a simple reason: It wasn’t true. A husband is a man who’s legally married—everyone knows this—and for most of my life, this was impossible for me.
Not anymore. Today I was able to legally marry a man and he became my husband in a legal sense as well as a practical sense. Because, after some 18 years together, we were husbands in everything but name. Now we have the name, too.
The Registry Office ceremony was quick and efficient, as we expected it to be. It was all over—including a few photos—in around 15 minutes. We already had a big ceremony when we had our Civil Union, of course, so today’s ceremony was about changing that status to marriage. That meant having a particular ceremony required by law, and that's something that doesn’t take much time at all.
The photo above was taken by our niece right after the ceremony, and shows our rings: Nigel decided he wanted a simple silver band to go with the gold band he had at our Civil Union. We realised that such a band would go well with my Civil Union ring and its three little diamonds. So, we had the new rings made. It’s kind if hard to tell they’re silver in the photos.
The photo at right of the post is of us as we’re nearing the end of the ceremony, also taken by our niece. It’s the photo I posted to social media. You'll notice the New Zealand flag behind us—it's a government office, after all. A portrait of the Queen hung to the far left, out of view of this photo. That plaque behind me, on the very righthand edge of the photo, is the Seal of New Zealand.
It was a lovely day: A family lunch before the ceremony, then a barbecue dinner at home tonight. And now, we’re married. Now, we’re legally equal to our heterosexual siblings, having assumed the same responsibilities and commitments as they have. All, as it should be, of course.
All of which is why it really was a great day.