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Your Interview: Brighton and Hove registrar Trevor Love answers your questions
12:09pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
Equalities minister Maria Miller announced last Tuesday that gay couples in England and Wales would be legally allowed to get married as of March 29 next year.
Brighton and Hove City Council's senior ceremonies registrar Trevor Love answers your questions on the change in the law.
Gary Robinson, Lewes Road, email: With a surname like Love, did any other career attract you?
Trevor Love (TL): I only joined the Registration Service in 2002.
It was the first job I’ve ever had where my name was relevant to the job I was doing.
I didn't realise the impact it would have on a daily basis – receiving so many lovely comments from customers.
It is always nice to see people react with a smile when I introduce myself. Perhaps I should I have considered being a registrar as a career much earlier on.
It is a great privilege to be able to arrange and conduct ceremonies, and it is always extremely rewarding.
I am part of a great team and we all work together to ensure that Brighton and Hove Register Office maintains a very high standard in all we do.
Anonymous: Brighton and Hove has made history before, when civil partnerships were introduced. What was that like?
(TL): I conducted the city’s first civil partnership on December 21, 2005 at Brighton Town Hall. This was before the recent law change about ceremony times.
At that time, ceremonies could only take place between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
We were among the first in the country to open our doors and start ceremonies.
It was a wonderful day.
The couple were friends of mine, which made for an emotional experience, and we had the world’s media attend, too.
I am sure there will be similar interest when we have finalised plans for the start of same-sex marriage ceremonies in March 2014.
Tim Siddlescombe, email: Are you expecting to see an influx of people wanting to get married?
(TL): We obviously don’t know the numbers yet but we do expect to see a high take-up.
We also expect to be very busy later next year when couples in an existing civil partnership will be able to convert to a marriage, although there is no definitive date for this at the moment.
We will do all we can to meet demand and help people make special memories for the rest of their lives together.
Brian Fearne, phone: Is this the end of the road when it comes to the gay community’s battle for equality?
(TL): As far as the Registration Service is concerned, we feel this legislation does make all couples equal under Registration law.
Hilary Banker, email: The image most people get when they hear “gay marriage” is two men – what have you seen in terms of two women wanting to get married?
(TL): In 2012, the latest year we have full figures for, Brighton and Hove Register Office registered more civil partnerships for women than men.
No other register office in England or Wales conducted as many female civil partnerships as we did.
The city is known as a great location with a welcoming atmosphere and a huge range of different licensed venues to choose from to tie the knot.
This is reflected in the number of requests we have from people wanting to have their ceremonies here each year and why it is so great to be a registrar for Brighton and Hove.
Evan Lucic, email: With regards to the typical wedding traditions such as giving the bride away and throwing the bouquet, how do you think the gay community will adapt?
(TL): Every couple is unique and we are happy to adhere to their wishes within the law.
I have conducted many civil partnerships when the couples have been “given away”.
But I am still waiting to see a bouquet thrown!
Ceremony traditions will no doubt evolve as they always have done.
Gary Paterson, phone: How big a day will March 29 be in the grand scheme of things in the gay community?
(TL): This will be a momentous and historic day for the Registration Service in England and Wales, and for all of those couples making their marriage vows together.
We were taken a bit by surprise by the announcement on Tuesday as we had been given to understand that the law would change in July 2014.
We are in the early stages of planning the launch date which we hope will be a landmark and hugely exciting day for the gay community and for Brighton and Hove City Council.
This city knows how to celebrate in style! We are going to do all we can to mark this milestone in a dignified way.
I am very excited about the changes and look forward to seeing many more happy couples wed in the years ahead.
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