No equality for gay partners in the Queen’s and House of Lord’s honours system

Graham Robson March 11, 2015

Days before the first anniversary of same-sex marriages being legalised in the UK, the discussion about gay couples receiving the same title privileges as their heterosexual counterparts is intensifying.

Sir Elton John and 'plain' David Furnish
Sir Elton John and ‘plain’ David Furnish

CURRENTLY, the wives of men awarded a knighthood or peerage are entitled to call themselves Lady. However, gay male married partners are presently not given a title.

For example, when Sir Richard Branson received a knighthood, his wife became Lady Joan Branson.

However, when Sir Elton John married, David Furnish he did not receive a similar title.

Mark Llewellyn-Slade
Mark Llewellyn-Slade

Mark Llewellyn-Slade, Managing Director of Awards Intelligence, said: A suitable title for a male partner might be: “The Honourable…”

This would mean that Sir Elton’s partner would be known as The Honourable David Furnish. The same rights would of course be given to all relevant partners in same-sex marriages.

Mark continued: “While this dollop of inequality is unlikely to affect a huge number of people, the issue should be addressed sooner rather than later as it gives out the wrong message to the gay community and wider society. We know from experience that titles are important to the wives of titled men, why should partners in a gay marriage not benefit from the same privileges? It would be a shame to see titles for wives of titled men removed to achieve equality, I’d much rather see everyone get a title, whatever that might be”.