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to be annoyed at the way Stephen Gatley's husband is being referred to in the press

(88 Posts)
Dragonfly73 Sun 11-Oct-09 16:22:29

I saw the sad news that Stephen Gately had died. I was never a fan of the music but i think it is always terribly sad when someone so young passes away. I do remember being quite impressed with him when he "came out" as he had a lot to lose by way of screaming teenage fans etc.

Anyway, was just watching the BBC and they kept referring to his husband as his "civil partner".

Am i being unreasonable to be a bit enraged by this? They had a commitment ceremony and as soon as they were legally able to formed a civil partnership under the law. My DH and I had a civil wedding with no religious overtones at all. If i were to die tomorrow would anyone call him anything less than my husband or my widower?

It just seemed to me that by referring to him as his "civil partner" they were diminishing the relationship somehow and making it distinct from a "normal" marriage partnership. Would it so offend BBC viewers to recognize the man as his husband.

Anyway, i am interested in peoples thoughts. Depending on how it goes i may just write the BBC a strongly worded letter!

saintlydamemrsturnip Sun 11-Oct-09 16:24:58

Legally he is a civil partner. Civil partnerships are not (legally) marriages. So they are not husbands.

see this website

I said the same to DH this morning after the BBC24 ticker said long term partner. Surely husband would be acceptable in this day and age?

bran Sun 11-Oct-09 16:27:14

I think technically they couldn't legally be husband and husband so the BBC is correct.

It was part of trying to appease religious groups when civil partnerships were introduced that they were distinct from "marriage" and so terms that are associated with traditional marriage would not be used, eg wedding, husband or wife.

franklymydear Sun 11-Oct-09 16:28:34

they call him a civil partner because that's what he is

saintlydamemrsturnip Sun 11-Oct-09 16:29:39

I think it's useful for the BBC to use the term. a) it highlights the inequality and b) it is correct.

Heterosexual couples btw cannot have civil partnerships; they can only have marriages. A whole other argument in there.

said Sun 11-Oct-09 16:30:34

I think civil partner is fine. When they were describing him as simply "partner" I thought that a little hmm

PoppyIsApain Sun 11-Oct-09 16:31:16

The BBC would prob be in trouble with alot of people if they had said husband, so they couldnt really win, sad news i didnt even know he was ill sad

DailyMailNameChanger Sun 11-Oct-09 16:31:29

Legally it is correct but I have seen him called his husband in other papers in any case so YABU really yes.

(I do think the whole thing is wrong though, I do not understand why on hetrosexual partnerships get to use husband/wife titles)

violethill Sun 11-Oct-09 16:31:33

He isn't his husband, he's his civil partner.
For once, the press are actually sticking to facts!

If you think that diminishes what he is, then I would tactfully suggest the problem is in your own mind. I wouldn't assume that a civil partner is any way 'lesser' than a husband or wife.

StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Oct-09 16:33:16

Poppy, he wasn't, as far as anyone knows

jellyjelly Sun 11-Oct-09 16:34:09

It annoyed me that they said long term partner rather than civil partner.

I never expected them to use husband as it is not correct but expected something more than partner.

Great shame

FlightAttendant Sun 11-Oct-09 16:37:38

Didn't he get married in the US though? I think that place recognises it as a marriage.

<confused>

AMumInScotland Sun 11-Oct-09 16:38:39

It is the proper legal term. I agree that same sex couples should be allowed to marry and be "husband and husband" or "wife and wife", but currently they are not, so "civil partner" is what he was.

Your husband, is your husband by law, whether you had a civil weddng or a religious one.

Uo to you whether you think a civil partner is as "important" as a husband - people may (and do) have different opinions on that, but that's their issue, not yours if you believe they are every bit as important.

TheOldestCat Sun 11-Oct-09 16:43:59

I too find it odd that the BBC website is referring to his civil partner as his 'long-term partner'. DH and I are long-term partners too in that we've been together for an age. But if I died, he'd be my 'husband', well 'widower' I suppose - no-one would call him my long-term partner would they?

Very very sad news.

starwhoreswonaprize Sun 11-Oct-09 16:46:50

I think it's brilliant that his civil partner is mentioned, twas within my lifetime that such relationships have been ignored.

Husband/husband wife/wife thing may be tricky as some lesbians (for eg) may not want to be someone's wife.

TheOldestCat Sun 11-Oct-09 16:53:52

Ah good point, starwhoreswonaprize.

saintlydamemrsturnip Sun 11-Oct-09 16:56:16

Flight attendant - follow my link above. That has been tried in the high court. You can have a marriage elsewhere and it is not recognised as a marriage here.

AMumInScotland Sun 11-Oct-09 16:59:41

I think people did use to use euphemisms like "constant companion" though, which could just mean friend, but didn't IYSWIM?

FanjolinaJolie Sun 11-Oct-09 17:04:19

Very sad, he is so young.

hanaboo Sun 11-Oct-09 17:05:03

stephen gately died!?! then so did my teenage years (actually was secretly a shane fan myself) lol
R.I.P Stephen x
what happened? does anyone know

Ponders Sun 11-Oct-09 17:07:40

Kevin McGee was referred to as Matt Lucas's husband (or former husband) as well - even in the DM shock.

I know it's not strictly accurate legally but it gives more of a sense of the human relationship, not just the legal one.

unfitmother Sun 11-Oct-09 17:09:38

YABU - sorry.

Barbara Ellen was writing about this very matter in the Observer this morning, not in reference to Stephen Gatley though.
A lot of people are under the mis-impression that is gay marriage in this country; there isn't. What we do have is same-sex civil partnerships so the BBC were perfectly correct.

FlappyTheBat Sun 11-Oct-09 17:10:38

Sky news are reporting him as his husband, BBC are saying long term partner.

said Sun 11-Oct-09 17:12:10

But is it not just called a 'civil partnership' to avoid upsetting religious groups? Do civil partnerships have any rights that married couples don't have and vice versa? Effectively, it is the same as 'marriage' isn't it?

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