WESTMINSTER, England -- It was hardly the most evocative of locations – an empty, overlit office space with on the 17th floor of ugly concrete towerblock that is home to Westminster Council – but when the moment came, with the late afternoon sunshine casting the panelled ceiling and carpet tiles in a luminous gold, Percy Steven confessed to a flicker of nerves and an unexpected lump in his throat.
Forty-eight years and 10 months after they first became romantically involved, Steven, who is now 75, and his partner Roger Lockyer, 87, on Wednesday became one of the first couples in the country to convert their civil partnership to a marriage, allowing the registrar to declare them, to broad beams, “husband and husband.”
For the first year of their relationship, gay sex was illegal and they could have been jailed just for being together. Nine years ago they became one of the first same-sex couples in Britain to register for a civil partnership. Now, at last, they could refer to themselves without hesitation as married and it felt, said Lockyer, “really rather lovely.”
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