Connect with us

News

Cambridgeshire County Council axes dismissive term to describe gay newlyweds

Stephen Moir, the county council chief executive, since February 2022, took immediate action.

Avatar photo

Published

on

Chief executive Stephen Moir acted swiftly to change a website run by Cambridgeshire County Council to promote its wedding services but failed to acknowledge a same sex married couple as gay. The county council oversees the Cambridgeshire Ceremonies website that includes information for couples of either sex wanting to be married or form a civil partnership.

However, whilst a traditional male and female couple featured in a photograph getting married were described correctly as “bride and groom”, a gay male couple were simply abandoned to the description “celebrations”.

The photo that until 48 hours ago was used to promote Cambridgeshire Ceremonies, the official website for the Cambridgeshire Registration Service. Instead of using ‘gay wedding’ it referred to the gay wedding as ‘celebrations’. It has been changed to ‘groom and groom’

The photo that until 48 hours ago was used to promote Cambridgeshire Ceremonies, the official website for the Cambridgeshire Registration Service. Instead of using ‘gay wedding’ it referred to the gay wedding as ‘celebrations’. It has been changed to ‘groom and groom’

The new image that has appeared to promote Cambridgeshire Ceremonies, the official website for the Cambridgeshire Registration Service. Until Friday it captioned the happy gay couple ‘celebrations’ but has now been changed to ‘groom and groom’

The new image that has appeared to promote Cambridgeshire Ceremonies, the official website for the Cambridgeshire Registration Service. Until Friday it captioned the happy gay couple ‘celebrations’ but has now been changed to ‘groom and groom’

Advertisements
Pictures
Advertisement

Two days ago, I tweeted both photos, querying the difference.

 

Mr Moir, the county council chief executive, since February 2022, took immediate action.

“Leave this with me, John. #OnIt,” he responded to my tweet.

 

By the following morning the website had been updated.

“Now sorted, I’m advised,” he tweeted.

Advertisement

“Thanks for spotting and sharing John. Needless to say, our registration service is delighted to support marriages and civil partnerships for all couples!.”

Later yesterday Cambridgeshire County Council’s official Twitter account posted: “Thank you for pointing this out John, and to Stephen for sorting it.

At least this couple’s caption never changed. It said, and still does, ‘bride and groom’

At least this couple’s caption never changed. It said, and still does, ‘bride and groom’

“We are proud to support all marriages and civil partnerships!”

Advertisement

The Cambridgeshire Registration Service will present its annual report on January 11 to the county council communities, social mobility, and inclusion committee.

The service provides statutory services for the official recording of key events (birth, death, and still-birth registrations; marriage and civil partnership ceremonies), legal preliminaries for marriages and civil partnerships and the provision of copy certificates.

Link to website https://www.cambridgeshireceremonies.co.uk/

In addition, it delivers marriage, civil partnership, and citizenship ceremonies as well as non-statutory and renewal of vows ceremonies.

Advertisement

The service operates from full time registration offices in Cambridge, Ely, and Huntingdon. There are part-time registration offices in March and Wisbech.

In addition, there are 79 approved venues across Cambridgeshire, independent venues licenced to hold ceremonies.

“A recent engagement exercise undertaken with managers and staff across the service has been used to formulate a development plan to ensure service development and improvement opportunities are captured and explored,” says the report.

February 2023: Cambridgeshire Council Chief Executive Stephen Moir flying the Pride Flag over New Shire Hall in support of LGBT+ History Month. He is pictured with Cllr Stephen Ferguson (left), at the time chair of the county council.

February 2023: Cambridgeshire Council Chief Executive Stephen Moir flying the Pride Flag over New Shire Hall in support of LGBT+ History Month. He is pictured with Cllr Stephen Ferguson (left), at the time chair of the county council.

Advertisement
Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

“An important part of this exercise was to focus on workforce development and support.”

Six new ceremony venues have been licensed this year, giving couples more choice across the county, including a brewery in Wisbech and a stunning country estate at the other end of the county near Sandy.

This brings the total venues in Cambridgeshire to 79; 16 venues include the wholly outside option, which allows couples to have a ceremony anywhere in the grounds.

One venue offers a waterside option that allows couples to marry on a beach in Cambridgeshire.

Advertisement

Animals and pets are now allowed at ceremonies and 11 of the venues have registered for this option.

In the last year, the service has performed 175 ceremonies in council rooms and 1,965 ceremonies in approved venues.

Yearly figures for registration service

Yearly figures for registration service

“Ceremonies for couples have been reviewed following customer feedback and couples now have a greater range of options,” says the report.

Advertisement

This includes what to say on the day associated with the ‘I do’ wording, acknowledgment of the ‘escort’ when entering the room, as well as a much wider range of ring exchange wording and personal vows.

The service is also able to tailor make specific requests for couples.

“For example, a couple wanted to include a ring-warming ceremony and a gin-blending ceremony on their wedding day at the South Farm venue.

“Alcohol is not allowed in a ceremony room, so the service contacted the GRO (General Register Officer) to gain clarification on what was allowed.

Advertisement

“Permission was granted to perform a ceremony if no alcohol was consumed. The service worked with the couple to produce wording for the ceremony that everyone was happy with.

“On the day, ceremony officers incorporated the gin-blending ceremony into the wedding, and the couple and guests were delighted.”

The report says that having come through the pandemic, registration services continue to be impacted by global events.

“The high cost of living has been reflected in the number of ceremonies cancelled, with couples deciding to defer their ceremony while finances remain challenging or wait before booking,” says the report.

Advertisement

“Though in general terms bookings remain healthy, they are below what otherwise would have been expected.

“In order to provide added certainty to couples when booking ceremonies, fees have recently been set for three years.”

 

 

 

Facebook

Read More