In a week where we celebrate the life of Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s greatest ever scientists, my fondest memory is somewhat lighter than a ‘Brief History of Time’.
In 2015, Hawking replaced Matt Lucas and performed in one of the most memorable sketches ever created for Comic Relief, where the great scientist manages to eclipse even the brilliance of Matt as ‘Andy’.
When Cole Porter wrote his musical ‘A Gay Divorce’ in 1932, gay marriage did not even exist, so combining that with ‘The Seven Year Itch’, he must have been a few years ahead of his time. Fiction can anticipate, as the reality of gay divorce follows gay marriage like ‘Night and Day’ (Cole Porter’s masterpiece).
After civil partnership for same-sex couples became available in December 2005, it took only a year for Matt Lucas and Kevin McGee to publicly ‘tie the knot’, but back in 1952, a heroic scientist of Hawking’s calibre, Alan Turing, was prosecuted for being gay. Hawking was a campaigner to have Turing posthumously pardoned. He succeeded.
In character, Matt Lucas lamented being ‘the only gay in the village’ and perhaps he was believed, as official government expectations of the take up of Civil Partnerships turned out a gross under-estimate. Now exceeding 100,000, in the first year, 9,648 signed up. That is a lot of villages.
The additional status of same-sex marriage was introduced from March 2014. A ‘wedding’ sounds more romantic than a ‘ceremony’ and interestingly, the Office for National Statistics show that marriages for all-female couples are double those of all-male couples at 78% of the total.
Women are statistically twice as likely to apply to terminate a legal relationship.
A double-bride wedding and twice the likelihood of divorce sounds a cue for Matt Lucas to reappear.
In 2008, Matt and Kevin’s ‘gay divorce’ was one of 56 male civil partnerships dissolved in England. Last year there were more than 500.
At Major Family Law, we understand that people separating are not merely a ‘statistic’ and we have the expertise to deal with that, whatever the legal format of the relationship – living together, civil-partnership or marriage.
Email us in confidence on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance with the legal aspects of separation or divorce.