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Village round-up 18/01/08

Wayne Clews questions civil partnerships as the show heads for Manchester Central

Published on February 14th 2008.

Village round-up 18/01/08

The fundamental problem with civil partnerships is that they sound so pitifully dull. Rather than being some grand, romantic gesture, a civil partnership sounds like some dreary little measure dreamt up by a couple of accountants, probably named Malcolm and Roger, to save you a few pence each year on your tax bill. And, of course, when you have decided to take the plunge, and pledge your lives together for better, for worse, ‘til adulterous drunken shag do you part, the romantic mood of the day is hardly enhanced by your average registry office. Typically, they have all the architectural charm and welcoming ambience of a job centre and are staffed with registrars so weary, you might almost imagine they have seen all this blushing bride malarkey before and are counting the days until notice of the divorce comes through.

Since weddings were deregulated, a bit like the buses, and virtually anywhere can apply to hold a ceremony these days, your own nuptials can be far more imaginative. This weekend, the UK Wedding and Civil Partnerships Show comes to Manchester and promises hundreds of ideas for that special day.

Whilst not an exclusively gay event by any stretch of the imagination, the show will be packed with stall-holders hoping to tap into the power of the pink pound, helping you fritter away your ill-gotten gains on such fripperies as matching suits, horse-drawn carriages and inappropriate honeymoons.

The show arrives in Manchester, just after the government released figures that suggested the gay community were falling out of love with the idea of civil partnerships. In the two years since the civil partnership was introduced, numbers deciding to take the pledge have fallen dramatically. Some whinging critics will gladly wave their fingers at this news and witter on that the government was just pandering to a politically correct minority by introducing the partnerships in the first place. Of course, that is just utter tosh. Obviously, numbers are going to fall after the initial burst of enthusiasm to take the pledge when the law was changed; after all, the gay community had only been waiting for the past forty years for such a thing to happen. On top of that, Stonewall has pointed out that the overall numbers of gay partnerships being registered is much higher than anyone had anticipated.

All of this made me recall a hazy Sunday afternoon when me and my other half stood in a puddle in a tent on a car park with 70 other gay couples in some Moony-esque mass gay wedding blessing. Once the hangover had worn off, I think both of us were relieved that it wasn’t legally binding. I suppose we ought to get round to doing the whole partnership thing properly soon, at least for the sake of the cat.

The UK Wedding & Civil Partnerships Show 2008

Manchester Central, 23-24 February

Also recommended:

Vanilla, Richmond Street, 23 Feb
The bar gets a make-over for a Louisiana style Mardi Gras ball. DJ Furey will be playing Southern-style music for a night out with a difference.

Alter Ego, Princess Street, Saturdays
Looking forward to their 12th birthday this spring, Poptastic still packs them in each week for it’s indie-kid trashy disco. Get down early.

Disco Inferno
Cruz 101, Princess Street, Mondays
A night that has been running longer than the Labour government, Mondays just wouldn’t be the same without this inappropriately debauched start to the week.

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KevinFebruary 14th 2008.

My partner and I had a wonderful reception @ AXM, after our Civil Partnership. The staff where attentive and caring, and we had full use of the private lounge (as it was 2 years ago).

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