A Meltham pair will be one of the first same sex couples to get married when new legislation comes into force next month.
Teresa Millward and Helen Brearley will be the first to tie the knot in an historic moment on March 29 at Halifax Register Office – the day gay marriage becomes legal.
The couple, who run T-shirt printing business Pretty Pink Pearl Ltd in Holmfirth, said that being able to marry had been a ‘long time coming’ after they got engaged in Derby 10 years ago.
Although civil partnerships between same sex couples have been legal since 2005, marriage was only passed by government last July.
Teresa, 36, and Helen, 50, said the new law represented a step towards greater sexual equality.
Teresa said: “If we had the same rights as a mixed sex couple we would have got married before now.
“We wanted to be able to say we were married and be considered as equal to a mixed sex married couple.
“Although a civil partnership is the same process but with a different name some people don’t view them like that, which is frustrating.
“The key thing for us is to have a solid relationship – it’s great to be able to be legally recognised as married by our friends and family and use it as a public declaration of love.
“Our love is no different to my brother and his wife’s love for each other.”
The happy couple will have a civil ceremony at Halifax Register Office and a humanist ceremony at Durker Roods Hotel in Meltham on April 5.
The Same Sex Marriage Act will end the debate as to whether same sex couples have the same rights as mixed sex couples.
However, it will be up to individual faith organisations as to whether they conduct the ceremony on their premises.
Several, such as the Roman Catholic Church in England, the Muslim Council of Great Britain and the Network of Sikh Organisations, have already stated their opposition to the act.
Meanwhile, The Church of England recommended that churches offer ‘blessings’ to same sex couples but did not go so far as to offer formal ceremonies.
Commenting on the opposition, Teresa said: “Even from a religious point of view I disagree with people who say that same sex couples can’t get married in front of the eyes of God.
“Religious leaders taught love, not their particular religion, to followers.
“We should have the right to show our love like everyone else.”
Teresa, who has two daughters aged seven and eight with Helen, also believes that the legislation will have a positive effect on their children.
She said: “I think that allowing gay marriage will help create greater sexual equality to the point that in the future people will no longer have to ‘come out’ if gay, just like those who are straight.
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