'We don't want to be civil partners - we want to be married' say Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick
Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick have said that civil partnership is like being told to sit on the back of the bus.
The couple became civil partners in 2011 but feel they are not truly equal as they are not married in the eyes of the state.
“We just want to be able to sit on the bus with everyone else,” Karl told the Herald.
“At the time people said to us: ‘Why bother with civil partnership? Why not wait for marriage?’ but it was everything that was afforded to us at the time.
“Somebody said to me recently that it’s a little bit like Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement in the US.
“It’s a bit like that with civil ceremony - they’ve let us on the bus but we can only sit at the back; with marriage equality we could sit anywhere we want,” he added.
Karl and Alan have been busy campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote and are encouraging everyone to get out and vote on May 22.
“We just want people to get out and use their vote and make a difference for gay people in the future,” Alan said.
“It might not affect you now but it could affect your child or someone you know in the future.
“What if you have a son or a daughter who comes out in the future and you want equal rights for them – that’s the point we’re trying to make to people,” he continued.
“I think the Vote 10 campaign is brilliant and it’s really simple.
“It’s where you ask 10 of your family and friends to pledge to you that they will go out and vote.
“So if everybody just got 10 people to go vote then thousands more will go to the polls,” he added.
Alan says the most frustrating part of the campaign has been what he branded “scaremongering” by the ‘No’ campaign.
“The Children and Family Relationships Bill is done but they’re scaremongering,” he said.
“This referendum is not going to affect children. It’s about whether you think it’s OK for two people who love each other to get married.”
The couple, who have been together for almost 22 years believe that attitudes toward civil partnership and same sex marriage changed when VIP magazine put their wedding pictures on the front cover.
“We turned down VIP three times, we didn’t want a high-profile wedding,” Karl said.
“But when they explained we would have lots of input in the choice of photographs and everything, we decided to go for it.
“It was the second biggest selling issue after Andrea Roche’s wedding and I think it normalised same sex marriage and it was written beautifully where it showed a day filled with love and happiness,” Alan added.
If the marriage equality referendum passes, they admit they would love to get married.
“I don’t want to be civil partnered I want to be married - and it’s my turn to propose,” Alan said.
“I would love to get married and I walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’.”