However, when Harold couple, Chantel and Dave Brooke, felt their marriage was a in a rut and becoming a little too secure, they looked around for a solution that would loosened the shackles of marriage. Since they had no wish to become totally decoupled they hit upon the idea of having their two year marriage downgraded to the status of civil partnership.
However when they applied to the registry office, officialdom refused their application saying it was not permitted.
“We were told we were being silly and there was no difference between a civil partnership and marriage,” said Dave angrily. “Of course, we know this can’t be the case otherwise there wouldn’t have been such a fuss about gay marriage in the first place.”
“We are very disappointed, said a disappointed Chantel. “A civil partnership seemed to be the ideal solution for us, because we remain committed to each other but probably not strongly enough to remain married.”
Undeterred by the initial refusal, the couple explored the possibility of becoming divorced, then applying for a civil partnership together but this was also turned down. “Apparently, only same sex couples can have a civil partnership,” Dave told us. “It seems to me that its one law for the gays and another for the rest of us. It’s totally unfair.”
“It’s not that I’m against gay people,” he added quickly, “one of my best friends is homosexual. Or at least I’m pretty sure he is.”