Today there will be approximately 687 gay couples in England and Wales who will be going through the procedures necessary to register their civil partnerships. A veritable 'avalanche' on the first day the law takes effect there.
Amongst those 'getting hitched' today are high-profile celebrity couple Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish; I have just been watching them leaving the Guildhall at Guildford (close to one of Sir Elton's homes) after signing the register and they look very happy. Good luck to them both.
Another couple who have become civil partners today are the Rev Christopher Wardale and Malcolm Macourt who signed the register in Newcastle followed by a blessing at a church locally at which the former Bishop of Durham, Rev David Jenkins, preached, depsite a warning from the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Tom Wright, that clergy could face action for taking part. Possibly there are 'troubles' ahead for the Rev Wardale with his ecclesiastical superiors, but for today I simply wish them a very happy day and future life together.
I must keep this brief because I will be leaving shortly on an hour's journey to attend a funeral; an elderly neighbour has finally lost her valiant struggle against cancer.