Couple's union in Blackpool makes history

Tracey Robinson and James Clayton, pictured with their grandchildren,  were Blackpool's first opposite sex civil partnership couple
Tracey Robinson and James Clayton, pictured with their grandchildren, were Blackpool's first opposite sex civil partnership couple
Share this article
0
Have your say

A couple have become the first in Blackpool to register an opposite-sex civil partnership.

A couple have become the first in Blackpool to register an opposite-sex civil partnership.

Tracey Robinson and her partner James Clayton held the ceremony at The Wedding Chapel on the resort’s Central Promenade the day opposite-sex civil partnerships came into law.

The couple have been together for 33 years and Tracey said: “It was the perfect way for both of us to secure our financial and legal standing as a couple without all the formalities of a wedding.

“We had been waiting since the Supreme Court of Justice ruling last year for the opportunity of opposite-sex civil partnerships to be embedded.

“We were therefore especially pleased to take up the first appointment and to become the first couple in Blackpool to do so.”

Civil partnerships have applied for same-sex couples since 2005.

The new option for opposite-sex couples offer them similar rights and entitlements to married couples, such as marriage allowance tax relief, exemption from Inheritance Tax and joint parental responsibility for children born to civil partners.

As the new regulations came into effect, couples were able to register their intent to enter a civil partnership by giving 28 days’ notice.

Tracey, 49, and James, 48, gave notice at the beginning of December, ensuring that they could formalise their relationship with a civil partnership at the earliest possible opportunity.

Tracey, a manager with Blackpool Council’s adult services department, said it was a short, simple ceremony at The Wedding Chapel,

The ceremony was witnessed by a few close family members, including the couple’s two grown children Jamie and Melanie and four grandchildren Ellie, Jessie, Jacob and Jack.

James is a transport manager for a bread firm and the couple hail from the Normoss area of the resort.

Civil partnerships are not intended to compete with marriage, but rather to provide an alternative option for those couples who do not wish to marry but want legal certainty and stability for their families.

The new law was introduced followiing a legal challenge five years ago by Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who celebrated in similar fashion to Tracey and James at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in west London the same day.

The Government estimates as many as 84,000 mixed sex couples could become civil partners this year, giving them greater rights and protections within their relationships, without having to get married.

More details about marriages and civil partnerships are available at www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships