Comment: Why I am happy to be able to call my marriage a marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Tory MP Mike Freer writes for PinkNews on why it is important to him to be able to convert his civil partnership to marriage.

So my civil partner and I have decided to quietly convert our Civil Partnership to Marriage. Some friends ask why bother and why quietly. The last question is easier than the first. We will be exchanging our Civil Partnership certificate and coming out with a marriage certificate without any razzmatazz because for us, the conversion is an immensely personal, intimate and private event.

Having fought hard for the right to get married, I want to savour the moment that I can marry and be married to the man I fell in love with twenty two and a half years ago, by being with him and him alone. For others they will want to share the moment with friends and family and have a celebration. For me it’s the commitment to him not the fuss that is important.

Why bother? Simply because I want to say I’m married. Whether to friends or when dealing with officialdom. When I apply for car insurance why should I have to declare my sexuality by selecting ‘civil partner’ on the drop down menu! I can now click ‘married’. I no longer want to be equal but different.

It’s not about whether civil partnerships confer the same legal status it’s about having equal standing. No more having to say this is my “civil partner” or my “partner”. I have been attacked by a political opponent for describing my mother in law as my mother in law (oddly I was accused of hiding by sexuality!!).

Imagine if I’d described my mother in law as – my “Civil Partner in Law” – that would have simply reinforced the ‘we’re not equal’ status of my relationship. I no longer want to have to use a phrase that in some way signifies a lower status.

Married is married. I see myself as married and now everyone else will too.

Mike Freer is the MP for Finchley and Golders Green and a Vice Chair of the Conservative Party.