We'll be the first same sex couples getting married in Essex

Michelle Gilby and Kalie Mills

Michelle Gilby and Kalie Mills

First published in News
Last updated
by , Senior reporter

HISTORY will be made next weekend, when gay and lesbian couples are legally allowed to marry for the first time.

A change in the law, which comes into force on Saturday, means marriages between people of the same sex will have exactly the same legal standing as those between straight couples.

Christian Gilson will be one of the first in the country to take advantage of the change when he marries Steve Hanafin, 46, in Southend.

Southend Standard:

Until now, gay and lesbian couples could only enter into a civil partnership, giving same sex couples most – but not all – the rights and responsibilities of a civil marriage.

Christian, 43, said: “A good ten years ago, we both agreed should the law ever change, we’d get married. We had both proposed to each other at different times, actually.

“I’ve always said I wanted a marriage. A civil partnership was just not the same thing, because to have one would be identifying you as different, being other. It wasn’t equality.

“It’s really great to be part of history. In the future, we can look back and say we were among the first.”

The couple, who live in Manchester Drive, Leigh, will tie the knot at a small ceremony for close family and friends.

Later that day, Laindon couple Kalie Mills, 26, and Michelle Gilby, 29, will be wed in front of 170 guests at Three Rivers Golf and Country Club, in Cold Norton, near Maldon.

Kalie said: “We were booked to have a civil partnership ceremony that day. We’d been planning it since July 2012.

“It was only a couple of months ago, I heard on the radio about the law change, so we decided to get married. We would’ve been happy with a civil partnership but given the choice, we’d rather have a marriage.

"I don’t really see why we shouldn’t have been allowed to get married before, anyway.”

Michelle added: “The civil partnership didn’t feel very loving.

“Obviously with it, you’re making a commitment to each other, but something was missing.

"It was more like a legal contract, which came into force when you signed the paper, not when you said words.

“As far as I was concerned I was always having a wedding, anyway. I was making the same commitment any couple would make, but the fact it is going to beamarriage on the first day of the new law is pretty awesome.”

Comments (25)

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10:06am Tue 25 Mar 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

"We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex"
____________________
____________


nice headline that lets your imagination run wild.
"We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex" ____________________ ____________ nice headline that lets your imagination run wild. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 7

10:15am Tue 25 Mar 14

scrounger‎ says...

I bet the honeymoon won't be in Uganda.
I bet the honeymoon won't be in Uganda. scrounger‎
  • Score: 24

10:17am Tue 25 Mar 14

southendcivilservant says...

Good luck guys - we had the first civil partnership in Essex in December 2005, and it was a wonderful day. We hope yours will be just as momentous and happy.
Good luck guys - we had the first civil partnership in Essex in December 2005, and it was a wonderful day. We hope yours will be just as momentous and happy. southendcivilservant
  • Score: 20

1:11pm Tue 25 Mar 14

TowerBlockDreams says...

Many many congratulations to both the couples featured and everyone else in the LGBT community with your futures together
Many many congratulations to both the couples featured and everyone else in the LGBT community with your futures together TowerBlockDreams
  • Score: 3

1:23pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Joe Clark says...

Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did.
Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did. Joe Clark
  • Score: -4

2:25pm Tue 25 Mar 14

ThisYear says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
"We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex"
____________________

____________


nice headline that lets your imagination run wild.
If your imagination dwells in a sewer!
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: "We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex" ____________________ ____________ nice headline that lets your imagination run wild.[/p][/quote]If your imagination dwells in a sewer! ThisYear
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Southchurch Saddlebag says...

Yet the dinosaurs would have disappeared much quicker if they were all LGBT ...
Yet the dinosaurs would have disappeared much quicker if they were all LGBT ... Southchurch Saddlebag
  • Score: 9

5:43pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Joe Clark wrote:
Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did.
Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Neanderthal? Just because they disagree with the current trendy status quo?

Some people just have differing opinions that's all, doesn't mean they are anti gay.

I know gays who are anti marriage even anti gay marriage. Are they "neanderthal"?
[quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did.[/p][/quote]Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Neanderthal? Just because they disagree with the current trendy status quo? Some people just have differing opinions that's all, doesn't mean they are anti gay. I know gays who are anti marriage even anti gay marriage. Are they "neanderthal"? Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

5:54pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Cor Blimey says...

Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-) Cor Blimey
  • Score: -4

7:14pm Tue 25 Mar 14

ThisYear says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Joe Clark wrote:
Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did.
Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Neanderthal? Just because they disagree with the current trendy status quo?

Some people just have differing opinions that's all, doesn't mean they are anti gay.

I know gays who are anti marriage even anti gay marriage. Are they "neanderthal"?
You know nothing but hate..again the irony pours over you and you are unaware of it...you are the one on here who implies all who disagree with you are 'leftys'

You feel being gay is a "current trendy status quo" you are as ugly inside as you are outside...
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, it's about time the law changed to permit same sex couples to be legally married, it is also sad too see some neanderthal thinking infecting this story, just remember they are in the minority and such thinking will hopefully go the way of the dinosaurs much quicker than the dinosaurs did.[/p][/quote]Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Neanderthal? Just because they disagree with the current trendy status quo? Some people just have differing opinions that's all, doesn't mean they are anti gay. I know gays who are anti marriage even anti gay marriage. Are they "neanderthal"?[/p][/quote]You know nothing but hate..again the irony pours over you and you are unaware of it...you are the one on here who implies all who disagree with you are 'leftys' You feel being gay is a "current trendy status quo" you are as ugly inside as you are outside... ThisYear
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Rouge9 says...

Good luck to the couples now being able to wed, may your lives together be long and full of fun.

As for some LBGT being against it, that is thier oppinion and belief, and I respect them for that, just as I respect those hetros who are anti marriage. We all have to live in close proximity, so we should be able to get on, we just need the scales to be fully balanced for all

(all we need now is civil partnerships for hetros and we'll have Full equality)
Good luck to the couples now being able to wed, may your lives together be long and full of fun. As for some LBGT being against it, that is thier oppinion and belief, and I respect them for that, just as I respect those hetros who are anti marriage. We all have to live in close proximity, so we should be able to get on, we just need the scales to be fully balanced for all (all we need now is civil partnerships for hetros and we'll have Full equality) Rouge9
  • Score: 5

5:01pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
"We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex"
____________________

____________


nice headline that lets your imagination run wild.
It was when I saw Extreme fisting with Robson Greene in the TV Guide that I knew it was time to go to the optician for an eye test....
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: "We'll be the fist same sex couples getting married in Essex" ____________________ ____________ nice headline that lets your imagination run wild.[/p][/quote]It was when I saw Extreme fisting with Robson Greene in the TV Guide that I knew it was time to go to the optician for an eye test.... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 4

5:58pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Drunkard says...

Cor Blimey wrote:
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Kim Gandy wrote:

"Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?"

Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.
[quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)[/p][/quote]Kim Gandy wrote: "Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?" Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it. Drunkard
  • Score: 3

7:21pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Cor Blimey says...

Drunkard wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Kim Gandy wrote:

"Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?"

Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.
Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below.
I'm all for muff diving.
Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx
[quote][p][bold]Drunkard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)[/p][/quote]Kim Gandy wrote: "Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?" Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.[/p][/quote]Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below. I'm all for muff diving. Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx Cor Blimey
  • Score: -1

8:15pm Wed 26 Mar 14

InTheKnowOk says...

Who cares? ...
Who cares? ... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 5

9:31pm Wed 26 Mar 14

ThisYear says...

Cor Blimey wrote:
Drunkard wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Kim Gandy wrote:

"Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?"

Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.
Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below.
I'm all for muff diving.
Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx
"I was being sarcastic!"

Err, no! You were being puerile..
[quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Drunkard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)[/p][/quote]Kim Gandy wrote: "Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?" Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.[/p][/quote]Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below. I'm all for muff diving. Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx[/p][/quote]"I was being sarcastic!" Err, no! You were being puerile.. ThisYear
  • Score: -5

9:22am Thu 27 Mar 14

Letmetryagain says...

Do we really care ?
Do we really care ? Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Nelly99 says...

But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly?
But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly? Nelly99
  • Score: -2

2:34pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Feminism is Dead says...

I suppose it's good for keeping the population down.
I suppose it's good for keeping the population down. Feminism is Dead
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Gay Ray says...

ThisYear wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Drunkard wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Kim Gandy wrote:

"Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?"

Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.
Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below.
I'm all for muff diving.
Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx
"I was being sarcastic!"

Err, no! You were being puerile..
I have just spoken to Muffindamule who would like to be remembered to ThisYear (formerly known by multiple other names). She says she is exasperated at TY's continued lack of humour and clownish posting.
[quote][p][bold]ThisYear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Drunkard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)[/p][/quote]Kim Gandy wrote: "Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?" Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.[/p][/quote]Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below. I'm all for muff diving. Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx[/p][/quote]"I was being sarcastic!" Err, no! You were being puerile..[/p][/quote]I have just spoken to Muffindamule who would like to be remembered to ThisYear (formerly known by multiple other names). She says she is exasperated at TY's continued lack of humour and clownish posting. Gay Ray
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Drunkard says...

Coe Blimey: I quoted you by mistake (I suck at internet). I was actually referring to Kim Gandy's post. Sorry for any confusion.
Coe Blimey: I quoted you by mistake (I suck at internet). I was actually referring to Kim Gandy's post. Sorry for any confusion. Drunkard
  • Score: 1

10:20pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Chabuddy G says...

Nelly99 wrote:
But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly?
Same sex couples do have families - but rest assured Nelly99, being gay is only compulsory if you are actually gay.
[quote][p][bold]Nelly99[/bold] wrote: But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly?[/p][/quote]Same sex couples do have families - but rest assured Nelly99, being gay is only compulsory if you are actually gay. Chabuddy G
  • Score: 5

10:59pm Thu 27 Mar 14

smiffy22 says...

Feminism is Dead wrote:
I suppose it's good for keeping the population down.
Not necessarily. Not for gay women, anyway.
Your hypothesis may well be correct on the subject of gay men though.
Regards,
Smiffy22
[quote][p][bold]Feminism is Dead[/bold] wrote: I suppose it's good for keeping the population down.[/p][/quote]Not necessarily. Not for gay women, anyway. Your hypothesis may well be correct on the subject of gay men though. Regards, Smiffy22 smiffy22
  • Score: -1

4:48pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Letmetryagain says...

Nelly99 wrote:
But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly?
That is the religious view, but it's not compulsory to have children in marriage.
[quote][p][bold]Nelly99[/bold] wrote: But surely marriage is a union between man and woman primarily for the protection of children.Otherwise what function does it serve? Since gay couples can't have families it can only be as an exercise in commitment. Totally unnecessary. I have nothing against gays, as long as it doesn't become compulsory but why are they always pug ugly?[/p][/quote]That is the religious view, but it's not compulsory to have children in marriage. Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Fri 28 Mar 14

ThisYear says...

Gay Ray wrote:
ThisYear wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Drunkard wrote:
Cor Blimey wrote:
Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)
Kim Gandy wrote:

"Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?"

Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought?

Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.
Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below.
I'm all for muff diving.
Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx
"I was being sarcastic!"

Err, no! You were being puerile..
I have just spoken to Muffindamule who would like to be remembered to ThisYear (formerly known by multiple other names). She says she is exasperated at TY's continued lack of humour and clownish posting.
She can remain 'exasperated' as much as she wants...they can't do you for it..
[quote][p][bold]Gay Ray[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ThisYear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Drunkard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cor Blimey[/bold] wrote: Congratulations, may your lips remain together forever :-)[/p][/quote]Kim Gandy wrote: "Do you believe in freedom of speech and thought?" Yes, but clearly you're having some trouble with it. You have a right to your opinion, but we have a right to an opinion about your opinion. Our opinion is that your opinion is antiquated, prejudiced, and reflects badly on you as a person. Why do you have a problem with people expressing that opinion? Don't you believe in freedom of speech and thought? Get it straight: Freedom of speech does most emphatically NOT equal freedom from criticism. Gay marriage opponents are not victims of oppression. Quite frankly, it's insulting to see them whine about people allegedly curtailing their speech when they've spent generations curtailing gay people's happiness. You can say whatever you like, and we can say whatever we like back. Best get used to it.[/p][/quote]Hmm, I was being sarcastic! When I refer to lips I mean those down below. I'm all for muff diving. Good luck to them and I wish them well xxxxxxx[/p][/quote]"I was being sarcastic!" Err, no! You were being puerile..[/p][/quote]I have just spoken to Muffindamule who would like to be remembered to ThisYear (formerly known by multiple other names). She says she is exasperated at TY's continued lack of humour and clownish posting.[/p][/quote]She can remain 'exasperated' as much as she wants...they can't do you for it.. ThisYear
  • Score: 0

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