Marriage Equality

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From 29th March lesbian & gay couples will be able to marry across England & Wales.

As this date draws closer many same-sex couples - and singles - are asking what marriage equality actually means and how does it compare to civil partnership?

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The future of civil partnerships will be reviewed but they will still remain very much an option for same-sex couples as there are legal and financial differences which will be significant to some.

Unlike a civil partnership a religious wedding is now a possibility for couples and several religious organisations have already opted in. Couples who are already civil partners will be able to convert their civil partnership into marriage and the marriage will be treated as though it had existed from the date of the civil partnership.

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Words cannot express how excited I am to be photographing same-sex weddings in this hugely significant year. Quite frankly it sends shivers down my spine thinking about the celebrations of love that I will have the privilege of being a part of and photographing over the coming months!

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In my 42 years I have seen great progress made and attitudes change towards the LGBT community. My community.

Coming from a small town in South Wales my teen years were a time of excitement, confusion and fear. Gay bars were few and far between and those you did find normally had their windows blackened out as if being gay was something to be hidden - visually symbolic of Thatcher's Clause 28. The only gay in the village? I felt more like the only gay in Wales!

In the 90's attitudes began to change and the gay/straight boundaries started to break down. It wasn't until the early 00's however, when Clause 28 was repealed, that the political normalisation of gay culture truly gained momentum.

I finally gained the strength to come out in my late 20's and when I did I was overwhelmed by the love and wishes of good will I received from friends and family. I met my partner Richard on Millennium Eve (yes there were fireworks!) and he's been lighting up my life ever since.

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And so we fast-forward to today and finally marriage equality. Oh yes - its been quite a journey but we got there (*loud applause*).

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If you haven't booked your photographer for your same-sex wedding yet make sure you do consider a gay photographer as the chances are we will have travelled a very similar journey. It goes without saying that I will be empathetic to your origin - be it gay, lesbian or transgender - and I will ensure sure every detail of your day is captured sensitively, creatively and beautifully. 

So let's celebrate this year - our year - and many years to come!

Paul

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