Elton John: The historic fight for equality must go on. Let's get on and legalise same-sex marriage

I know a lot of people will say we should count ourselves lucky to live in a country that allows civil partnerships, and call it quits there. I don't accept that.

Share
Related Topics

Sign the petition today!

Almost twenty years ago I fell in love with a man called David who changed my life. He had worked in advertising, and then moved into film. I had come out as gay five years before, and met David at a dinner party I was hosting. We exchanged numbers, and I asked him to dinner the following night, which happened to be Halloween. Like any couple in the first flush of romance, we there was the thrill of mutual attraction. Soon that developed into something much stronger, as we realised we had something that would last forever. Though there were ups and downs, looking back I feel like, even in those early days, we knew the other person was "the one". The rest, as they say, is history.

And literally so: on 21 December 2005, the first day that gay couples in Britain were allowed to obtain a civil partnership, David and I did exactly that, in a ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. Now, six and a half years on from the happiest day of my life, when we have a beautiful boy called Zachary I would love nothing more than to make history again - by marrying David. If we legalise gay marriage in Britain, you can bet your last penny that I'll be pushing to call him my husband at the first opportunity - though whether he or I go down on one knee is a matter for negotiation!

I know a lot of people, and perhaps especially religious people, will say that David and I should count ourselves lucky for living in a country that allows civil partnerships, and call it quits there. In most countries around the world, gay people aren't just disallowed from coming together in a legal sense; they are actually persecuted by governments because of their sexuality. Maybe we should just be happy that we at least have a civil partnership, and not push our luck.

Well, I don't accept this. I don't accept it because there is a world of difference between calling someone your "partner" and calling them your "husband". "Partner" is a word that should be preserved for people you play tennis with, or work alongside in business. It doesn't come close to describing the love that I have for David, and he for me. In contrast, "husband" does. A "husband" is somebody that you cherish forever, that you would give up everything for, that you love in sickness and in health. Until the law recognises David Furnish is my husband, and not merely my partner, the law won't describe the man I know and adore.

But of course this isn't about me and David. It's about something so much greater than either of us, something that pre-dates us by centuries, and will carry on for centuries after we, and Zachary, and his children, are gone. That is the fight for equality.

But of course this isn't about me and David. It's about something so much greater than either of us, something that pre-dates us by centuries

Throughout history, minorities have been discriminated against without justification, on grounds of race, religion, gender, and sexuality. In some parts of the world, we have made amazing strides in combating unfair discrimination on those grounds. In most of the world, the fight is just beginning.

From the suffragettes to the race relations acts of the 20th century, Britain has led the way across the civilised world in ending unfair discrimination. The move to civil partnerships for gay couples was another, dramatic step. Wouldn't it be a huge source of national pride if we led, rather than just followed, the currents of history, and became one of the first countries in the world to say being married isn't about whether you're straight or gay, but about whether you're human?

I think it would. I think that, in this Olympic year, when the eyes of the world are upon us, we should show that we are country committed to the sacred institution of marriage, proud of our tolerant heritage, and brave enough to let lovers like David and I call each other a husband.

That is why I am proud to give my name to this independentvoices.com campaign, and why I ask that you dare to do so too.

Sign this petition today!

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
Crofter's cottages on Lewis. The island's low population density makes it a good candidate for a spaceport (Alamy)  

My Scottish awakening, helped by horizontal sleet

Simon Kelner
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat