Why Sir Elton John’s husband is not ‘Sir’ David Furnish

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Sir Elton John and David Furnish were finally able to convert their civil partnership to a marriage last week – but the couple still face discrimination when it comes to titles.

Sir Elton – who has been with his partner for 21 years – was awarded a knighthood for services to music in 1998.

However, their marriage last week is not regarded the same as an opposite-sex wedding when it comes to the use of titles.

When a man with a title marries a woman, his wife automatically receives a female courtesy title – meaning that if he had married a woman, Sir Elton’s wife would be Lady John.

However, as the honours system was not updated to reflect the changes to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) law, Mr Furnish is not able to use a title – and will remain Mr Furnish.

The Equality (Titles) Bill 2013 attempted to change the rules – which also deny titles to male spouses of women with honours – but the legislation did not progress.

The law was changed, however, to ensure that gay men could not become Queen or Princess of Wales by marrying a future King or Prince of Wales.

In a statement on Instagram earlier this week, Sir Elton John and David Furnish said: “We’re utterly overwhelmed by and overjoyed by all the kind messages of support we’ve received from people around the world. Massive thanks to everyone from the bottom of our hearts!

“We’re grateful and privileged to live in a country where it isn’t illegal to be gay and where marriage equality is a reality. Let’s all stand up for LGBT people living around the world who deserve the same rights. #ShareTheLove.”