EXTRACT FROM ‘HERALD EXPRESS’

Gay marriage

Major shift in social mores

BY GINNY WARE   11:00 – 02 January 2006

Watching Francis and Peter  Scott-Morgan achieving the same status, rights and legal acceptance as married heterosexual couples was a privilege.

They have spent the past year planning their special  day, which was originally to be a low key affair with just a handful of   guests and no press coverage. For Francis, who is more reserved than Peter,  the decision to go public was not an easy one. It was the death of a gay  friend from Aids, which left his partner with no financial rights, that led  him to take the brave decision to be loud and proud about his union with  Peter.

From that day, the pair embraced the chance to share with a sometimes suspicious and disapproving outside world, the end of their  long struggle to be recognised as a loving couple.

By welcoming the prying eyes of the press and TV cameras, they grasped homophobic prejudice by the throat and throttled it.

As Peter said: “What matters is not the race, religion or the gender, what matters is the love.” The pair spoke their  vows with confidence and dignity and unfalteringly acknowledged their love for all to hear.

Family and friends travelled over land and overseas to  support them, even though the ceremony took place at a totally uncivilised hour on school-day morning.

But I’m sure the guests would say they were honoured to  mirror the commitment Peter and Francis have shown each other for the past 27 years.

Together, they have cherished, nurtured and respected their relationship and achieved something all couples strive for – a true and steady love and friendship that has stood the test of time.

And they are right, nothing else matters.

© Herald Express
Retrieved 14 February 2006