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Gay Brighton couple to have the city's first ever same-sex wedding
5:00am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
A gay couple are set to etch their names in history when they become the first same-sex pair to tie the knot.
After equalities minister Maria Miller announced yesterday that gay couples in England and Wales would be legally allowed to get married as of March 29 next year, Phillip Robathan, 37, and James Preston, 27, only had one thing on their minds.
The Brighton couple headed straight Brighton and Hove City Council’s offices in an attempt to become the city’s first two men to get hitched.
After seeing the registrar at 9.30am yesterday morning, they were given the first available slot – 9am on March 29.
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Mr Robathan said: “Now, there’s a rumour that we might be able to do it at 12.01am, and we’ve been told if this is the case then we will have that slot.
“But either way, we will be the first gay couple in Brighton and Hove to get married.
“We’ll be having a full 45 minute ceremony and because it’ll be the first ever gay marriage, we’ve been told there will be a lot of interest around it.
“So we’re hoping to make it the biggest it can possibly be.”
The couple were oblivious to the announcement until Mr Robathan opened an email from Gay charity Stonewall at about 9pm on Tuesday.
He added: “It’s going to be a historic day anyway, and for us to be the first in Brighton makes it even more special.
“Our names will be etched in history as the first ever in the city.
“It’s a big leap for the gay community because now we will finally have the same rights as a male and female couple.
“It’s something we’ve been waiting for a long time.”
They will be busy organising a venue and entertainment in the coming months, but there’s one thing Mr Robathan will not have to worry about.
He said: “It’s strange because I spotted this perfect wedding suit in a Portslade charity shop and I picked it up and bought it straight away.
“The person behind the counter asked me why I was buying it and I just said ‘there’s going to be some good news next week’.
“And lo and behold – the announcement was made.”
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