For all the obvious reasons, this is unlikely to be of personal interest. But, for some people, these things actually matter ...
The Coalition's plans for gay marriage provide a once-in-a-parliamentary-lifetime opportunity to remedy a situation that penalises a long-suppressed minority and fosters unacceptable gender inequality. I refer, of course, to the grossly unfair status of husbands of titled wives.
You see, the joining-together of two men or two women in matrimony leads to a number of tricky issues of law and etiquette. One of these relates to the partners of peers and knights. What, exactly, would be the correct status of the wife of a lesbian baroness? If Sir Elton John and Mr David Furnish were to marry, what would that make David?
At the moment, only women acquire their husband's status through marriage. If Miss Josephine Bloggs marries a king, she becomes Queen Josephine. If her husband becomes a knight, then she becomes a lady. But if Mr Joe Bloggs is joined in matrimony to a titled female, or his wife acquires an honour, he's still plain old Joe.
19 March 2012
I won't sleep for worrying. The Independent identifies a problem with gay and lesbian marriage: